Skip to main content

Full text of "Dupleix, and the struggle for India by the European nations"

See other formats

italm 0f Jtoiia 



M.A. (Oxford) LL.D. (Cambridge) 



















I. Introductory 7-34 

II. The System of Dupleix 35~49 

III. The First Blow for Predominance . . . 50-57 

IV. The Flaw in the Machine 58-63 

V. The English besiege Pondichery . . . 64-69 

VI. The Zenith of his Success 70-97 

VII. The English are roused to Action . . . 98-108 

VIII. Kobert Clive . . . . . . .109-123 

IX. A great Man wrestling with Fortune . . 124-132 

X. Too Heavily Handicapped 1 33-1 51 

XI. The Fall of Dupleix 152-165 

XII. The Final Collapse 166-186 

Index 187-188 


I have to acknowledge the obligations under which I am to the 
under-mentioned writers : (1) Orme's History of India ; (2) Cam- 
bridge's Account of the War in India, containing the Journal of 
Colonel Stringer Lawrence ; (3) The Abbe Guyon's History of the 
East Indies, 1757 ; (4) The Memoirs of Dupleix, and of Labour- 
donnais, and a contemporary Memoir of Lally ; (5) Laude's Le Siege 
de Pondichery en 1748, containing the Journal of Kangapoule' ; and 
many modern works. I have also with me information which 
I gathered from Pondichery and Chandarnagar, relating to the 
events here recorded, during my service in India. 




'The immense riches/ wrote the Abb£ Guyon in 
1774, 'which the Portuguese, the English, and the 
Dutch had drawn from the East Indies, invited the 
French to follow them in those remote and unknown 
countries, in order to partake of the advantages of 
which commerce was there productive. 5 For many 
years, indeed, the e invitation/ as the Abbe calls it, 
had dangled before the French people. For many 
years they had failed successfully to respond to it. 
In vain had Francis I in 1537 and 1543, and Henry III 
in 1578, exhorted their subjects to make long voyages. 
As these exhortations were unaccompanied by any 
promise of a State subsidy, as had been similar offers 
in the three countries which preceded France in the 
race for the commerce of the East, they produced no 
effect whatever. Nor was it till 1615 that a Com- 
pany, which four years previously had obtained from 
Louis XIII letters patent for the monopoly of the 
Eastern trade for twelve years, stimulated by two 


merchants of Rouen, MM. Muisson and Canis, made a 
beginning by despatching two vessels to the Indian 

The vessels equipped and despatched by this 
Company touched indeed at Madagascar, but did not 
touch India. But the account they brought home of 
the riches of Madagascar stimulated to a certain 
extent the spirit of enterprise among the public, and 
to a still greater degree in the ruling circle, then 
directed by the illustrious Richelieu. On the 24th of 
June, 1642, that eminent statesman granted to a new 
Company the exclusive privilege of settling colonies 
in Madagascar and the adjacent islands, and taking 
possession of them in the name of the King of France. 
Richelieu died in December of the same year, and 
Louis XIII in May of the year following. But the 
idea had taken root, and on the 20th of September, 
1643, the Council of Regency confirmed the privileges 
of the new Company. 

Its success was but moderate. The Company did 
indeed effect a settlement on Madagascar, and every 
year of its existence it despatched thither at least one 
well-freighted trading vessel. For a time the pro- 
prietors hoped. The arrival of one ship laden with 
yellow sandal-wood, hides, aloe-wood, and gums, and 
of another bringing twenty-five tons of rock-crystal, 
kept up their spirits. But these were onty transient 
successes, which were far from counter-balancing the 
losses sustained by wrecks and the insalubrity of the 
climate. When, therefore, the twenty years for which 


exclusive rights had been granted to it expired, the 
Company did not ask for a renewal of its privileges. 

Its place, however, was at once occupied by a 
famous nobleman, who had won by his services in the 
field a dukedom and the baton of a Marshal of 
France. This was the Duke de la Meilleraye. He 
threw into the scheme all the ardour of his nature, 
but without success, and when he died in February, 
1664, after ten years of commercial enterprise, he left 
behind him a record of failure. 

At this crisis France was well served by the states- 
man whom Mazarin, in his dying moments 1 , had 
recommended to Louis XIV as his successor. The 
fertile mind of Colbert recognised not only the 
advantage but the necessity of pushing colonial 
enterprise. He had noticed with the deepest interest 
the success of England, Holland, and Portugal in that 
field. Why, he asked himself, should France fail 
where those powers had shown that it required but 
good direction to ensure success? In 1664, then, the 
very year that the death of the Duke de la Meilleraye 
had left the field open, he constituted a Company with 
a capital of fifteen million francs and a concession for 
exclusive trading for fifty years. So far he followed, 
on a larger scale, the lines on which his predecessors 
had marched. But his genius recognised that some- 
thing more was necessary. He saw that the preceding 
French companies had failed because they had not 

1 t Sire, je vous dois tout ; mais je crois m'acquitter en quelque 
sorte envers votre Majeste en lui donnant Colbert.' 


had the backing which had made the success of the 
rivals of France. He therefore, to insure them against 
the losses which unless provided for might dishearten 
the proprietors, conceded to the Company an advance 
of three millions of francs, and charged the State with 
all the losses it might suffer during the first ten years 
of its existence. In order, moreover, to induce the 
nobility to participate in the scheme, Louis XIV, at 
the instance of his minister, issued an edict declaring 
that it was not derogatory to the nobility to take 
part in commerce with the Indies. That, moreover, 
he might the more certainly obtain the necessary 
subscriptions, Colbert inserted a clause in the articles 
by which foreigners were invited to subscribe to the 
funds of the Company, and were promised letters of 
naturalisation, free of any formality, provided that 
any of them should subscribe to the extent of ten 
thousand francs. Another clause provided that the 
directors of the Company should be chosen exclusively 
from the mercantile class, inclusive of foreign mer- 
chants, on the conditions regarding the latter, that 
their money-interest in the Company should be con- 
siderable, and that they and their families should 
reside in France. The statutes of the Company are 
forty-seven in number. They assure to the Company 
full power and jurisdiction over Madagascar and all 
the territories its servants might conquer or occupy, 
and they contain a promise to defend those places 
against a foreign enemy with all the force of France. 
The ordinance was dated August, 1664, and was 



registered in the parliament in September. Before, 
however, that registration had taken place, the King, 
on his own authority, had given an order on the 
royal treasury for three hundred thousand francs, to 
be paid into the coffers of the Company. 

The wise provisions of the Minister met with suc- 
cess. The money came in rapidly, and in March of 
the following year (1665), four ships of the new 
Company, partly armed as ships of war, and carrying 
520 men, sailed from Brest for Madagascar. The 
idea of the Company was to establish on that island 
a settlement which should serve as a half-way house 
to India. To this end they offered all sorts of induce- 
ments to adventurous natures. They affixed to the 
walls of the principal cities and towns of France 
notices wherein they declared that they had resolved 
to make those who settled in the Colony proprietors 
of as much land as they, their families, and their 
servants could till. These notices contained a glowing 
description of the lie Dauphine — for such was the 
new name given to Madagascar — stating that the 
climate was ' very temperate/ that ' two-thirds of the 
year are like spring ; ' that ' the other third is not 
hotter than the summer of France ;' that people lived 
there ' to the age of a hundred, and even of a hundred 
and twenty;' that ( fruits were good and plentiful;' 
that there were 'quantities of oxen, cows, goats, 
hogs, and other cattle ;' that there were ' gold, silver, 
lead, cotton, wax, sugar, tobacco, black and white 
pepper, ebony, dyeing- wood of all sorts,' and other 


merchandise ; and that it was not even necessary 
that the settler should himself work to obtain all 
these things. All that was required of him was to 
set to work the negroes, 'who are docile, obedient, 
and submissive,' to gain all that he required. Prob- 
ably a description more glowing of an island, but one 
small extremity of which had been explored, was 
never forced on the attention of any people. 

But in spite of these glowing pictures, the colony at 
Madagascar, as I shall continue to call the island, did 
not prosper. The adventurers who accepted service 
under the Company found that the natives, far from 
being willing to work for them, were actually hostile; 
that the climate was not only far hotter than that of 
France, but at certain seasons was actually deadly ; 
that the soil was only moderately fertile ; and that 
many of the richer merchandise promised in the 
notices existed only in the fertile imaginations of 
those who had drawn them. After many years of 
striving against the natives and the climate, the 
colonists who survived packed up their household 
goods, and migrated to the neighbouring islands of 
France and Bourbon, which, discovered and aban- 
doned by the Portuguese, occupied and abandoned by 
the Dutch, and then nominally taken possession 
of by France (1649), h&d remained unoccupied by 
Europeans until 1672. In that year the baffled 
colonists of Madagascar, inconsiderable in number, 
took possession of them, and formed there the nucleus 
of a settlement which was one day to be powerful. 


But the attempts made to colonise Madagascar 
had not exhausted all the resources of the French 
Company. Colbert had recognised that the special 
requirement to ensure success was a man. Hitherto 
the chiefs of the exploring expeditions had been 
mere machines. He wanted a man who could think 
and act for himself, who had a brain to devise and 
a strong will to execute his daring plans, and who 
should be, at the same time, patient, laborious, and 
stedfast. Such a man he believed he had found in 
1666 in Francis Caron. Caron, though of French 
origin, had been born in Holland, and had risen to 
a high rank in the service of the Dutch East India 
Company. He was a self-made man who had risen 
by force of character, and who, on being refused by 
his masters a post of the highest importance in 
Batavia, had resigned all his appointments, and ten- 
dered his services to Colbert. Colbert accepted them 
with alacrity, nominated him Director-General of 
French commerce in India, and despatched him with 
a new expedition to the Indian seas at the beginning 
of 1667. 

Caron touched at Madagascar. He found the 
colonists there in a condition so deplorable, that 
recognising the place to be impossible for the pur- 
poses for which it had been originally destined, he 
did not waste his time there, but pushed on for 
India. On December 24th of the same year he 
touched at Cochin, proceeded thence to Surat, and 
established there the first French factory in India. 


Caron had brought with him a Persian called Mercara, 
in the hope of being able to communicate through 
him with the native rulers of the adjoining territories. 
He at once employed Mercara on this service ; sent 
him to the court of the King of Golconda with a 
request that he might be granted all the trading privi- 
leges conceded to foreign nations, and that he might 
be allowed to establish a settlement at the town of 
Masulipatam. Whilst Mercara was on this mission 
Caron busied himself at Surat, and sent thence to 
Madagascar a valuable cargo. The news of this 
success was received with enthusiasm in France, 
and Louis conferred upon Caron the riband of 
St. Michael. 

Meanwhile Caron's agent, Mercara, had obtained 
all that he asked for at Golconda. He had the usual 
difficulties to contend with, but his knowledge of 
the Oriental character enabled him to surmount them, 
and on December 5, 1669, he obtained a firman which 
permitted the French Company to trade without 
import or export duties in the King's dominions, 
and a license to establish a factory at Masulipatam. 
Thither Mercara proceeded. 

Great as was Caron in many things, he yet pos- 
sessed one fatal quality — a quality which, it would 
seem, has deep root in France, for in all her wars 
no quality has interfered so much with the success 
which, without it, was attainable. This quality is 
jealousy of the success of others. Mercara's happy 
negotiations with the King of Golconda, instead of 


filling the heart of Caron with joy, aroused only envy. 
He displayed this feeling in so marked a manner, 
that, after vainly endeavouring to subdue it, Mercara 
embarked with his adherents on board a French vessel 
and sailed to Java. He transmitted at the same time 
his correspondence with Caron to Colbert, who a little 
later cleared him from the charges brought against 
him by Caron. 

Meanwhile Caron, great as an organiser, had repre- 
sented to Colbert that it would be largely to the 
interests of France if he were allowed to take pos- 
session of the island of Ceylon, then partially occupied 
by the Dutch, to serve at once as a 'point d'appui 
and a point of departure for French enterprise against 
India. He told the Minister that his agents had 
sounded, and had obtained the approval of, the King 
of Candy to such an expedition. Colbert accepted 
the idea, and despatched a squadron under Lahaye, 
a man unfortunately of but mediocre ability, to 
co-operate with Caron. The two commanders made 
their first attempt on Point de Galle in the winter 
of 1672. But here the Dutch were in force, and 
the attack was repulsed. The Frenchmen were more 
fortunate at Trinkamali, which they took and garri- 
soned. But hardly had they accomplished this when 
a Dutch fleet of superior force hove in sight. Lahaye, 
despairing of success, sailed northward, and whilst 
the Dutchmen were engaged in recovering Trinkamali, 
anchored before St. Thomd, a little settlement near 
Madras, originally occupied by the Portuguese, but 


at the moment by the Dutch. Lahaye stormed it 
with the loss of only five men. 

It has ever been the misfortune of the several 
Governments which have borne sway in France that 
they have judged almost entirely by results. Into 
the springs of action of their agent, of the resources 
at his disposal, of the mode in which he has availed 
himself of those resources, they are not careful to 
inquire. The result is what they look at, and if 
that is unfortunate, the agent is made the scapegoat. 
Thus it was with Caron. The enterprise against 
Ceylon, from which so much had been hoped, had 
failed, for the relieving Dutch fleet had retaken 
Trinkamali, and had made prisoners of the garrison. 
The solitary results of a large expenditure of money 
and men were the settlement at Masulipatam, won 
by the dexterity of Mercara, and St. Thom^, of which 
but little was known. The Directors of the Company 
urged then on the Minister the recall of Caron. Caron 
was, not exactly recalled, but ordered in complimentary 
terms, covering other designs, to return to France 
He set out accordingly, and had already passed 
Gibraltar when he learned from a stray vessel that 
he was doomed. He altered his course accordingly, 
and made for Lisbon. But, as he entered the Tagus, 
his ship struck on a rock, and almost immediately 
foundered. The only survivor of the disaster was 
one of the sons of Caron. 

The departure of Caron for Europe had left the 
affairs of the Company in the hands of MM. Lahaye 


and Baron. To these gentlemen the actual position 
seemed full of danger. They could scarcely doubt 
that the Dutch, whose naval preponderance on the 
coast had enabled them to recover Trinkamali, would 
take instant measures to retake St. Thome. To be 
provided with a territory, the possession of which no 
European power could contest, they directed the 
officer next to them in authority, M. Fxancis Martin, 
who had been the trusted lieutenant of Caron, and 
whose remarkable abilities had conciliated their 
esteem, to arrange with one of the native princes for 
the cession of a piece of land on which they might 
build, and which, fortified with care, might become 
the head-quarters of the French possessions on the 
eastern coast of Southern India. 

Martin at once entered into negotiations with Sher 
Khan Lodi, the governor of the possessions of 
the King of Bijapur in the Karnatik, and finally 
was allowed to purchase a plot of land on the 
sea- coast, in the south Ark£t division, comprising 
an area of 113 square miles, and the districts known 
as Puducheri, Villanur, and Bahur. The village of 
Puducheri, which gave its name to the territories, 
and which, by universal acceptance, is now called 
Pondichery, was eighty-six miles to the south-south- 
west of the English settlement of Madras. The 
purchase concluded and ratified, Martin returned to 
St. Thomd to report his success to his superiors. 
He found the place blockaded by the Dutch fleet on 
the side of the sea, and besieged by the troops of 


the King of Golconda on the land side. The garri- 
son, 600 strong, defended themselves energetically 
for some time, but want of provisions soon forced 
their leaders to treat. The terms they obtained 
were just such as they wanted. The garrison were 
allowed to quit the place with all the honours of 
war, and to proceed whither they might choose. 
They immediately evacuated the place, and whilst 
the bulk of them, led by Lahaye and Baron, returned 
to Surat, some sixty, led by the energetic Martin, 
proceeded to take possession of the new territory 
acquired south of the river Coleroon. They reached 
it in the month of April, 1674. 

Thus did Francis Martin found the French India 
which, a little later, was to contest the supremacy 
over the entire southern peninsula with the English. 
He was a man of rare capacity. He knew how to 
command, how to encourage, how to inspire, how to 
govern. His first difficulties were great. He and 
the sixty men with him constituted a small colony of 
foreigners in a new country, dependent to a great 
degree on the good-will of the natives, and shut out 
from all communication with Europe by the Dutch 
fleet cruising off the coast. The village of Pondichery, 
where Martin had established his head-quarters, was 
small, and, as far as accommodation for Europeans 
was concerned, absolutely destitute. On the other 
hand, its position left nothing to be desired. It was 
sheltered against the monsoon, was easy to fortify, 
extremely healthy, and conveniently situated for 


mercantile transactions with the interior. Martin's 
first care was to obtain permission to build accommo- 
dation for his men. Fortunately, he had a sufficiency 
of funds. In his dealings with the natives he displayed 
a tact which won their confidence and esteem. By 
degrees the Dutch blockade relaxed, and finally ceased 
altogether. Then vessels arrived from Europe. A 
trade in piece-goods was opened with the interior. 
Despite the wars of the native chiefs, the colony 
throve rapidly. By-and-by Martiij. obtained per- 
mission 'to enlist native soldiers for its protection. 
At the end of two years, he was able to inform the 
Company that he would send them annually goods to 
the value of at least 1,000,000 francs. 

The year following a crisis came. The famous 
Sivaji invaded the Karnatik, passed by Madras, took 
the strong fortress of Gingi, defeated Sher Khan Lodi 
in a pitched encounter, and threatened to annihilate 
the French on the pretext that they were allies of 
Sher Khan. Martin was equal to the occasion. He 
despatched the valuables of the colonists to Madras, 
then employed a friendly native chief to represent to 
Sivaji that he was willing to acknowledge the su- 
premacy of the Marathas, and to pay for the license 
to trade. Sivaji accepted his submission, and left 
him undisturbed. In a few weeks the peril had 

It would take too long to record the yearly pro- 
gress of the little settlement. It must suffice to state 
that, thanks to the wise measures of the energetic 

B 2 


and prudent man who governed it, despite the neglect 
of the Company at Paris, it prospered. The village 
was gradually transformed into a handsome town 
with regular streets. This, too, whilst receiving no 
increase of Europeans from home. On the contrary, 
in 1689, the sixty Martin had brought with him had 
diminished by deaths to thirty-six. Thanks to the 
permission granted by the son of Sivaji, regular forti- 
fications, laid out it is recorded by a Capuchin monk, 
were at this period added to the town. The settle- 
ment began to be talked about by the sailors who 
visited the coast as a place of great future promise. 
Its trade increased. The one thing it required was 
attention from home. 

The reputation it had acquired became at length 
a cause of peril. In 1693, the Dutch, determined to 
root out the traders of rival powers, fitted out and 
despatched to the Indian seas a fleet of nineteen 
sail of the line, having on board 1,500 infantry be- 
sides sailors. It was the most imposing armament 
which had ever been despatched to India. 4.t the 
end of August, of the same year, it appeared before 
Pondichery. The resources of Martin were quite in- 
adequate to meet the threatened attack. He had 
thirty-six Europeans, from 300 to 400 drilled native 
troops, and six guns. However, he prepared for a 
vigorous defence. But the odds were too great. 
On the 6th of September, after a resistance which 
had lasted twelve days, he was forced to demand a 
parley. The parley resulted two days later . in a 


capitulation, the terms of which stipulated that Mar- 
tin and his co-patriots should be shipped to Europe 
either that year or the beginning of the next. Mean- 
while, they were allowed to march out with all the 
honours of war. The native troops were simply dis- 

Severe and apparently fatal as was this blow, it 
resulted favourably to the young settlement. Martin 
and his companions were despatched to France. The 
reception accorded to Martin there, alike by the King 
and the Directors, was cordial in the extreme. The 
latter then, apparently for the first time, appreciated 
the greatness of their agent's character. And when, 
four years after the capture (September ai, 1697), the 
peace of Ryswick restored Pondichery to France, 
Martin was re-appointed Governor, and was de- 
spatched thither with 200 regular troops, several 
engineers, a large supply of military stores, several 
heavy and field guns, and materials in abundance for 
the use of the settlement. 

Martin was now not only Governor of Pondichery ; 
by letters patent from the King, he was nominated, 
February, 1701, Director-General of all the French 
possessions in India. Those possessions included a 
small plot of ground, about six acres, at Masuli- 
patam, called the French Pata, acquired by Mercara ; 
of a decaying establishment of about eight acres at 
Surat, abandoned in 17 14 ; of the settlement of Chan- 
darnagar on the right bank of the Hugli, twenty-two 
miles from Calcutta, first occupied by a small body 


of Frenchmen in 1676, and regularly ceded to them 
by the Emperor Aurangzib in 1688 ; and of six small 
plots of ground, comprising a total of about forty-six 
acres, at Calicut, Balasor, Dacca, Patna, Kasimbazdr, 
and Jogdia. 

It was unfortunate that the failures at Madagascar 
had dealt so hardly with the fortunes of the Company 
that the Directors were unable to extend to Martin 
the full support necessary for the profitable develop- 
ment of the affairs of the French settlements in India. 
But Martin conquered the impossible, and when he 
died on the 30th December, 1 706, there were grouped 
round the rising and prosperous town which gave its 
name to the colony 40,000 natives, whose prosperity 
depended upon the trade with France. French in- 
fluence, moreover, was all-powerful with the native 
chiefs and princes in the vicinity. Martin had made 
it a cardinal point of his policy to attach those 
chiefs and princes to the French settlement by appeal- 
ing alike to their interest and their self-love, two 
matters with regard to which they were peculiarly 
sensitive. His success, therefore, far from evoking 
envy or apprehension, produced only satisfaction and 
contentment. French good offices were constantly 
employed to settle local disputes, and when he died, 
the evidences of the esteem in which he had been held 
were overwhelming. 

Eight years after the death of Martin, the fifty 
years' monopoly granted by Louis XIV to the Com- 
pany in 1664 expired. It had long been in a moribund 


condition. Two years before the expiration of its 
Charter, its resources had been reduced to so low an 
ebb that it had been forced from want of means to 
transfer to some merchants of St. Malo its rights of 
trading to the East in consideration of an annual pay- 
ment. This destitution produced its natural effects in 
India. Debts which had been contracted at Surat 
remained unpaid, and although MM. Dulivier and 
Hebert, the immediate successors of Martin, con- 
tinued to administer the affairs of the settlement at 
Pondichery on the principles he had established, the 
falling off in the carrying-trade reduced them to very 
great straits. Nor, after lingering painfully for ten 
years, did there appear any reasonable chance of 
amendment. Indeed, just before the expiry of its 
Charter the friends of the Company had interest 
sufficient to procure the extension for ten years of its 
powers. This meant ten years more of atrophy. But 
in September of the year from which the continuation 
of the Charter dated (1715), Louis XIV died. The 
Kegency of the Duke of Orleans succeeded, and within 
a month of his accession to that high office, there ap- 
peared in Paris a young Scotchman whose soaring 
genius captivated for a few years the hearts of all 
classes, and whose schemes promised to impart new 
vitality to the world of commerce. 

France then possessed other territories beyond 
Europe, besides her small settlements in India. In 
1.525 she had acquired Canada; in 1682 she had ex- 
plored and taken possession of Louisiana ; in August, 


1 71 7, Law formed and presented to the public a Com- 
pany, called the Company of the West, with a capital 
of 100,000,000 francs, to possess for twenty-four years 
the entire monopoly of the trade with Canada and 
Louisiana. He allowed this scheme to dangle before 
the public for nearly two years, whilst engaged in 
those speculations nearer home with which his name 
is so fatally connected. In May, 1719, however, he 
took in hand the scheme of the Company of the West, 
and persuading the Regent to suppress by an edict 
the privileges of the moribund Companies of India 
and of China, he transferred all their privileges, all 
their possessions, all their liabilities, — in a word, the 
remnant of all that they had acquired, and all that 
they owed, — to the Company of the West. By the 
eleventh article of the edict, it was directed that the 
Company should thenceforth be styled the ' Company 
of the Indies,' and should assume the arms of the 
Company of the West. 

For a brief period it seemed as though the new 
Company would achieve a brilliant success. Its 
shares speedily rose to a premium of 200 per cent. 
It purchased from the Government for 4,020,000 
francs the monopoly of tobacco, a purchase which 
was so profitable that it enabled them to return 
an annual revenue of 8,000,000 francs, equivalent 
to eight per cent, of the total capital of the Com- 
pany as it was fixed in 1725. But at last, and 
within a brief period, the crash came. In the summer 
of 1720 a panic set in. The shares fell to the lowest 


depths. Everything foreboded a catastrophe. In 
the height of the crisis, the Directors of the Company 
of the Indies stepped forward with the offer to take 
up all the depreciated notes of the Royal Bank, and 
to extinguish them at the rate of 50,000,000 francs 
a month for one year, provided its privileges were 
made perpetual. The Government accepted the offer, 
and issued a decree declaring the privileges accorded 
to the Company of the Indies to be perpetual. 
Thenceforth the Company assumed the title of ' Per- 
petual Company of the Indies.' 

But the change in its condition was not confined to 
the grant of perpetuity of privileges. In October of 
the same year the Government made a return to cash 
payments ; dissolved the connection between the 
Company and the Boyal Bank; and enabled the 
former to reorganise itself on the footing of a com- 
mercial association independent of the State. On the 
retreat of Law, shortly afterwards, an inquiry took 
place — under the supervision of a Board appointed by 
the Government — into the affairs of the Company. 
The result of the investigations, cancelling^, and 
changes effected by this Board was to leave the Com- 
pany (1723) a private commercial association, with a 
capital of 1 1 2,000,000 francs in 56,000 shares. Two 
years later the capital was reduced, by the cancella- 
tion of 5,000 shares, to 102,000,000. At this figure it 
remained. But of all the great privileges conceded 
to it by Law, such as the coining of money, the 
collection of the revenues of the Slate, and others, 


there remained only the monopoly of tobacco and the 
grant of perpetuity. In other respects it was placed 
upon the footing of the original Company founded by 
Colbert in 1664. 

Meanwhile the agents of the Company at Pondi- 
chery were exerting themselves to maintain, with in- 
sufficient means, the position acquired for the settle- 
ment by Martin. In 1718 M. de la Provostiere had 
succeeded Hubert. On his death in 1721 M. Lenoir, 
a man of ability and energy, assumed the reins of 
office. Then it was that affairs took a turn for the 
better. The Company formed by Law had taken the 
earliest opportunity to despatch to India three mer- 
chantmen, richly laden, and these arrived just as 
Lenoir assumed office. Their coming was most op- 
portune. The credit of the settlement was at its 
lowest ebb. Debts contracted at Surat, and at the 
other small factories previously mentioned, were cry- 
ing loud against the Company. In the profits to be 
made from the cargoes of the new arrivals Lenoir, a 
prudent man, recognised the means of restoring the 
Company's credit. He used them for that purpose. 
The remedy, though great for the moment, was but 
transitory in its effects. The financial crash, and its 
consequence to the fortunes of the Company in Paris, 
reacted in India. For the three years that followed 
no ships arrived from Europe. In 1723 the settle- 
ment was reduced to the direst straits. The local 
agents had neither money, nor merchandise, nor re- 
sources. Lenoir, too, on the strength of the promise 


made him on his assumption of office, that he should 
receive yearly shipments of goods, had entered into 
contracts with the native merchants for the supply of 
return cargoes. But for the confidence which had 
been nurtured by Martin, and maintained by his suc- 
cessors, the outlook would have been ruinous indeed. 
As it was, the native merchants, recognising that the 
fault did not lie with Lenoir, agreed to wait for 
better times. 

The process of reconstitution through which the 
Company passed in 1723 gave it renewed life. At 
the end of that year two ships arrived, and from that 
time to 1726 three or four ships came every year. 
From 1726 the progress was more rapid still. The 
results to the settlement were most beneficial. Some 
idea of it may be realised from the fact that in 
September 1729, and in January 1730, Lenoir was 
able to transmit to France merchandise to the value 
of 5,500,000 francs, a large amount in those days 
for a young settlement. With returning prosperity, 
came the embellishment of the town. Tasteful houses 
were erected, a college was built, gardens were laid 
out, a stately edifice for the accommodation of foreign 
envoys rose in its turn from the ground. At the 
same time, the convictions of the natives were re- 
spected, for whilst other houses were cleared away, 
the pagodas and temples of the Hindus remained 

The prosperity continued unbroken during the re- 
maining years of the administration of Lenoir. But, 


in 1735, that able man was succeeded by a Governor 
in no respect his inferior, probably, indeed, even more 
qualified than he was to deal with the state of civil 
war then about to supervene throughout the length 
and breadth of the Karnatik. This was M. Benoit 

M. Dumas had entered the service of the Company 
founded by Colbert shortly before its extinction, in 
1 7 13. He was then seventeen. At Pondichery, 
whither he proceeded immediately, he gave proofs of 
rare capacity, and, after a stay there of nearly eight 
3'ears, he was transferred to the Isle of France and 
Bourbon to administer affairs in those islands. He 
held that office till 1735, when he was nominated to 
succeed Lenoir at Pondichery. His character was 
that of a prudent man, a lover of peace, but resolute, 
jealous of the honour and interests of France, yet 
willing to act only when circumstances should in- 
dicate that such action would be beneficial. 

Dumas had not been many months in India before 
circumstances arose which required the decision of 
a man of action. The Nuwabs of the Karnatik 
had, since the invasion of Sivaji, previously referred 
to, cultivated friendship with the rulers of Pondi- 
chery. The actual Nuwab, at the time of the arrival 
of M. Dumas, Dost All by name, had displayed more 
than an ordinary desire to cultivate intimate relations 
with the new Governor. Dumas had not been many 
months at his post before it occurred to him that 
he might utilise this friendship to obtain some 


permanent advantage for the Company. In return, 
then, for some slight services, he asked the Nuwab to 
obtain from the Court of Delhi permission to coin 
money. This request was granted, to the great mone- 
tary advantage and increase of prestige of the French. 
Two years later (1738), Dumas was tempted by an 
offer from the pretender to the throne of Tanjore to 
cede to him certain districts if the French Governor 
would lend him material aid for the recovery of his 
territories. It was indeed a tempting offer, for the 
districts offered were those which would give the 
French a hold on the sea-coast of Tanjore. To accede 
to it, however, would be to depart from the principle 
of strict neutrality in the quarrels of native princes 
hitherto pursued. But the risk, in the opinion of 
Dumas, was greatly outweighed by the advantages. 
He accepted then the offer; supplied the pretender 
with money, with gunpowder, and with warlike 
stores ; and received in return a grant of the town 
of Karikal, of the adjoining fort of Karkan-Garhi, 
and of ten villages depending upon them. The actual 
cession was dated February 14, 1739. 

The possession of this territory gave the French a 
footing in the kingdom of Tanjore, which enabled 
them to overshadow the influence of the Dutch, whose 
factory was at Nagapatnam, a few miles lower down 
the coast. The acquisition increased the power, the 
manner in which it had been acquired increased the 
influence, of the Pondichery settlement. But, the year 
following, it seemed as though the fortunes of the 


settlement would be imperilled. At the close of 1739 
the Mar£thas, jealous of Muhammadan preponderance 
in Southern India, invaded the Karnatik ; surprised 
(May 19, 1740) the army of Dost Ali at the Damal- 
cheri Pass; and completely defeated it. Dost Ali, 
his second son, and almost all his chief officers, were 
left dead on the field. The catastrophe, overwhelming 
in many respects as it seemed, served to illustrate the 
regard and confidence with which the foreigners at 
Pondichery had inspired the chiefs and landowners of 
the Karnatik. With an unanimity which was not 
the result of concert, these turned at once to Pondi- 
chery for protection. No other place on the coast or 
in the interior offered to their interested eyes so cer- 
tain a protection. For days and days after the defeat 
had become known the natives of the surrounding 
districts poured into Pondichery, bringing with them 
their families and their valuables. Five days after 
the battle the widow of the slain Nuwab, her chil- 
dren, her dependents, and an escort guarding her 
jewels and other property, were received in state by 
M. Dumas. That prudent man knew well that such 
an act might bring upon him the wrath and the 
armies of the Marathas. But, he argued, boldness is 
often prudence. For some days preceding, and for 
many days to follow, stores of grain had entered and 
did enter the town. In the face of a great crisis 
Dumas had deliberately chosen the line, which, if 
attended with great risk, promised him, should 
the risk be successfully encountered, the greatest 


advantage. In the same spirit he granted the hos- 
pitality of Pondichery to the wife and daughter of 
Chanda Sahib, the son-in-law of the late Nuwab. 
He was glad that in the hour of imminent peril it 
should fall to the lot of France to afford protection 
to those who unquestionably wpuld, on the retire- 
ment of the Marathas, recover supreme power in the 

He had reasoned justly. It is true that the Maratha 
leader, incensed by the reception granted to the rela- 
tives of the late Nuwab, and by the refusal of the 
French Governor to surrender them to his mercy, 
threatened to deal to Pondichery the fate of Bassein, 
then recently captured from the Portuguese ; that he 
detached a body of 16,000 troops to convert his threats 
into deeds ; that these troops captured and pillaged 
Porto Novo, thirty-two miles to the south of Pondi- 
chery, and Gudalar, belonging to the English, six- 
teen miles nearer to it; that they reached a point 
within five miles of Pondichery itself. Thence their 
leader despatched an envoy to demand, on the penalty 
of dealing with it as he had dealt with Trichinopoly, 
then recently taken, the surrender of the town. 
Dumas, equal to the occasion, hid nothing from the 
envoy. He showed him his supplies, his fortifica- 
tions, his guns, his drilled Europeans, his drilled 
sipahis, and then told him that, so equipped, Pondi- 
chery would resist to the last. To show his friendly 
disposition, however, he gave to the envoy, as he 
departed, a present of ten bottles of Nantes cordials, 


to be delivered to his chief. It would seem that the 
wife of the chief tasted these cordials, and insisted 
upon obtaining more. The storming of Pondichery 
being recognised as difficult, the chief determined to 
proceed by way of negotiation. The result was that 
Dumas made him a present of thirty bottles in addi- 
tion, and he, withdrawing all his demands, returned 
to Western India. 

In the interval Pondichery had received other visitors, 
among them Safdar Ali, son and successor of the late 
Nuwab. This chief was so impressed by the conduct 
of M. Dumas, that on the departure of the Marathas 
he increased the French territory by the cession of land 
bringing a yearly revenue of 10,000 rupees. The 
Subahdar of the Deccan, the representative of the 
Mughal in Southern India, marked his appreciation of 
the conduct of M. Dumas by transmitting to him a 
letter of thanks and a dress of honour. Safdar Ali, 
besides the territory referred to, sent him the armour 
of his deceased father, richly adorned with gold and 
precious stones, together with three elephants, several 
horses, many swords and jewelled weapons, and a 
letter of honour. The King of Delhi himself, Muham- 
mad Shah, conferred upon him the title of Nuwab; 
the rank of Commander of 4,500 horse, 2,000 of whom 
he was to be allowed to keep about his person in 
times of peace, without being at charge for their 
maintenance. Dumas, always eager for the interests 
of France, and conscious how much the natives were 
impressed by the possession of such dignities, asked, 


and obtained sanction, that these honours might be 
regarded as transferable to his successor. 

Before the crisis, the result of which I have just 
related, had occurred, Dumas had transmitted to 
France his request that he might be relieved at the 
first convenient opportunity. Towards its conclusion 
he received an intimation that the Court of Directors 
had accepted his resignation, and had nominated as his 
successor, M. Joseph Francis Dupleix, then Intendant 
of Chandarnagar. The new Governor arrived at Pon- 
dichery in October, 1741, took the oaths of Director- 
General of the French possessions in India, and de- 
clared himself to be the Nuwab of the Mughal, and a 
Commander of 4,500 Horse. 

The records of the six years' administration of M. 
Dumas prove that he was no unworthy successor to 
Francis Martin. He had displayed to a very high 
degree boldness, tact, prudence, and skill. He had 
greatly increased the prestige of the French, and had 
added considerably to their possessions. On the other 
hand, it has to be recollected that he accomplished 
these results by departing from the line of strict 
neutrality which Martin had laid down. He had the 
choice either to do that or to succumb. Probably, 
under the circumstances, Martin would have acted 
similarly. His prudent boldness had given the settle- 
ment a position which, in the crash of a decaying empire, 
might be improved to a degree till then undreamt of. 
Everything depended on the character of his successor. 
Dumas had clearly indicated the direction. He had 



secured recognition of French influence and French 
prestige. We have now to note the manner in which 
Dupleix turned to still greater account the oppor- 
tunities which arose from the action of his capable 


The System of Dupleix 

Joseph Francis Dupleix was born at Landrecies 
in 1697. From an early age he was destined by his 
father, who was Farmer-General and Director- General 
of the Company of the Indies \ tp a commercial career. 
To such a career the boy, who had displayed a strong 
inclination for the exact sciences, shewed a decided 
aversion. To cure him, his father sent him, at the 
age of seventeen, to sea. The result corresponded to 
his hopes. The young sailor returned from his voyages 
on the Atlantic and Indian oceans anxious to take a 
part in the world of enterprise and commerce, ready 
to bend himself to his father's will. The father re- 
sponded by obtaining for him a high post in the 
service of the Company of the Indies at Pondichery. 
Dupleix joined his appointment in 1720. He soon 
came to the conclusion that it would be possible to 
make Pondichery the principal emporium of trade in 
southern India. The Governor, Lenoir, whilst recog- 
nising the feasibility of the plan, was deterred from 

1 His full titles were : ' £cuyer, seigneur de Bacquen court et de 
Mercin, seigneur des gardes Fauneville, La Bruyere, etc., ecuyer 
ordinaire de la grande 6curie de sa Majeste, Fermier General et 
Directeur General de la Compagnie des Indes.' 

C 2 


prosecuting it with vigour by the poverty of the 
settlement. Dupleix then gave in his own person a 
practical proof how his plan, conducted on a system, 
must lead to fortune. He embarked in private trade 
with the interior — a practice then sanctioned by the 
regulations of the Company — and in a short time 
succeeded in amassing a considerable fortune. 

The changes in the constitution of the parent Com- 
pany at home, duly noted in the preceding chapter, 
had caused frictions and misunderstandings in the 
settlement. As a consequence of one of these Dupleix 
was (December, 1726) suspended from his office by the 
orders of the Directors, and offered a free passage to 
France. Dupleix declined to avail himself of the 
offer, but remained at Pondichery whilst he appealed 
against the unjust order. At the end of four years 
the falseness of the charges preferred against him was 
recognised (September 30, 1730), and the Directors, to 
compensate him for the injustice he had suffered, 
nominated him, shortly afterwards, Intendant of 
Chandarnagar. Thither, accordingly, Dupleix pro- 

How Chandarnagar had been occupied in 1676, and 
regularly ceded by the Mughal Emperor in 1688, has 
been stated in a previous page. Since that period the 
history of the little settlement had not been a history 
of success. It had suffered, more even than Pondi- 
chery, from the poverty of the Company. Stagnation 
had become the rule there. The Company's agents, 
with no means, and little energy, had drifted into a 


life of sloth and lassitude. Their utmost endeavours 
were directed to surmount pressing emergencies. The 
place bore evidence of the want of enterprise of its 
occupants. It had a ruined and forlorn appearance. 
Its silent walls were overgrown with jungle. And 
whilst the swift stream of the Hugli carried past it 
merchandise from the interior intended for the rivals 
who were converting the mud huts of Chatanati 
into the substantial warehouses of old Calcutta, the 
landing-places of Chandarnagar were comparatively 

Such was Chandarnagar when Dupleix arrived 
there as Intendant in 1731. Decaying and lifeless 
though he found the place, he regarded its position 
with other feelings than those of anxiety and dismay. 
He saw that it had capabilities ; that it might be 
made as prosperous as Chatanati; that energy and 
prudence, directing capital, could accomplish results 
which would startle his sluggish colleagues. He set 
to work with a will ; employed the fortune he had 
accumulated at Pondichery in the purchase of ships ; 
freighted cargoes; opened communications with the 
interior; induced native merchants to settle in the 
town. His compatriots, gained by his energy, joined 
him in the race for prosperity. He had room for all. 
To some he advanced money, others he took into 
partnership, all he encouraged. Chandarnagar soon 
felt the effect of the master's hand. Four years after 
his arrival the settlement which, in 1731, had but 
half a dozen country-boats lying unemployed at the 


landing-place, could boast of some thirty or forty 
vessels, small and large, at sea, engaged in conveying 
the products of Bengal to Jeddo, to Mocha, to Basrah, 
to Surat, and to China. Before he left, the number had 
increased to seventy. To produce such results, Dupleix 
had opened communications with the chief places in 
the interior, even with Thibet. The resurrection of 
the settlement gave the greatest satisfaction in France, 
and it was the character of the man who had made 
possible such a revival, prosperous alike to the settlers 
and their masters, that prompted the Perpetual Com- 
pany of the Indies to nominate its Intendant successor 
to M. Dumas at Pondichery. 

Before Dupleix left Chandarnagar he married, April 
17, 1 741, a lady of great ability, and whose advice he 
always prized above the advice of others. This lady 
was a widow, the daughter of M. Albert, a surgeon of 
the Company at Pondichery. She had married M. 
Vincens, a member of the superior Council at that 
town, in 17 19, and had borne him six children. 
M. Vincens died at Chandarnagar in 1739 or 1740, 
and Dupleix married the widow, as above stated, in 
April, 1 741. I have before me a copy of the 'act of 
marriage.' It shows that the ceremony was performed 
with considerable ceremonial; that Dupleix, aged 
forty-three, was at the time President of the superior 
Council of Pondichery, and General Commandant of 
the French possessions in India; that his wife was 
thirty-three. Of Madame Dupleix I find it recorded 
that her wise counsels and her energy sustained her 


husband in all his trials. She was with him during 
the whole period of his administration of French 
India. And when that administration came to a 
close, in the manner to be related, she accompanied 
him to France, to die there of the chagrin caused by 
the injustice meted out to the husband she adored. 

Dupleix found the lands of the French settlement 
on the southern coast suffering from the effects of the 
Maratha invasion. Those marauding warriors had, 
after the manner of locusts, eaten up the products, 
and by their presence prevented the tilling of the 
soil for the coming season. The Karnatik, too, 
unsettled by the fatal invasion, was threatened by 
the Subahdar of the Deccan. There were indications, 
moreover, that in Europe a war between France and 
England was imminent, and it was necessary to 
foresee and to provide for the necessities which such 
an event might entail on the Indian settlements. 

To be able to meet difficulties from without, it was 
necessary, in the opinion of Dupleix, to be prepared 
at home. He therefore proceeded to put his house 
in order. He set on foot inquiries having for their 
object the checking of public expenditure, increasing, 
as he thought, unnecessarily. He issued regulations 
to put a stop to the habit of taking douceurs, a habit 
borrowed from the natives. He thoroughly over- 
hauled the fortifications. He notified at the same 
time to the native princes in the Karnatik and at 
Haidarabad his succession to M. Dumas alike as 
Director-General of the French settlements and as 


recipient of the honours conferred upon the holder 
of that office by the King of Delhi, whilst from those 
of inferior rank in the neighbourhood he received 
personal homage. Having seen these matters in 
progress he proceeded to Chandarnagar, to be 
installed x there as Nuwab. When this ceremony, 
conducted with the pomp so dear to the people of 
India, had been concluded, he expressed a desire to 
pay a visit to the Muhammadan Commandant of the 
town of Htigli. The latter, however, recognising the 
superior rank of the Frenchman, insisted with that 
courtesy innate in the truest type of Islam on paying 
the first visit. The honours with which Dupleix was 
received made a deep impression on the natives. On 
his return, after the ceremony, to Pondichery, he 
acted there on the same principle. Knowing that the 
princelets about him recognised display as a symbol 
of power, he acted so that they should see in him 
an officer holding his honours direct from the Court 
of Delhi. To strengthen this feeling he left nothing 
undone in the way of magnificence of surroundings. 
Troublous times were coming. In the event of an 
attack made by a European power, much, he felt, 
would depend upon the position the French settle- 
ment occupied in native opinion. He strove then to 
act towards the natives, princes as well as people, in 
the manner which his experience had proved was that 
best calculated to gain their esteem. 

Had Dupleix at this crisis been supported largely 
and liberally from France he might have established 


the settlement on a basis which would have made it 
the first' of the European settlements in southern 
India. But at the very moment when he should have 
received support, he met only with discouragement. In 
a despatch dated September 18, 1743, the Directors 
of the Perpetual Company informed him that in view 
of the probability of a war between France and 
England they were compelled to restrict the number 
of their vessels for India to four, two of which only 
were destined for Pondichery. They pressed upon 
him at the same time the necessity of reducing his 
expenses by at least one-half ; and of suspending all 
outlay on account of the fortifications. 

How to act in the face of such an order ? Such was 
the question Dupleix had to solve. The order regard- 
ing the fortifications touched him most. He knew, 
and he was aware that the Directors knew, that the 
defences of Pondichery were in a state almost to invite 
attack. The original fortifications were crumbling, 
and, on the side of the sea — the side which specially 
required protection — there was a space of a thousand 
toises absolutely open. The way in which Dupleix 
acted on this occasion affords a key to his character. 
Recognising that, under the circumstances, to obey 
was to invite destruction, and that, as Director- 
General, he was really though not nominally responsible 
to the France which he represented, he disobeyed the 
order. Along the entire front of the space spoken 
of he erected a solid rampart with a broad ditch in 
front and rear. He had amassed by successful trading 


a considerable fortune. A portion of this he devoted 
without stint to the work. From the same source 
he provided cargoes for the two vessels which, in 
pursuance of the advices he had received, arrived 
from France that year, and which, but for his 
liberality and enterprise, would have returned empty. 
The other order of the Company he carried out with 
rigour. He reduced salaries, removed abuses, strangled 
corruption, until, in spite of the murmurs of some and 
the more open complaints of others, he brought about 
the required balance between income and expenditure. 
The Directors warmly approved all that he had done. 
His conduct in furnishing cargoes to their vessels 
caused them to overlook his disobedience regarding 
the fortifications, Kegarding the former they wrote 
him that they had been 'much pleased at the zeal 
which he and the Councils of Pondichery and Chan- 
darnagar have displayed for our interests in procuring 
cargoes for our two ships/ With respect to the 
fortifications, which took more than two years to 
complete, they wrote to him under date November 
30, 1746: 'The promptitude with which the town 
of Pondichery has been enclosed on the side facing the 
sea has given us real pleasure. We are under a great* 
obligation to you on that account : ' further, ' we have 
seen with not the less satisfaction all the measures 
you have taken, both to provide, notwithstanding 
your poverty, cargoes for the ships, the sailing of 
which we had announced to you.' 

In 1 744 the war of the Austrian succession broke 


out in Europe. France and England were ranged on 
opposite sides. For the first time since the French 
had settled at Pondichery the two nations were at war. 
The English had occupied a small point on the 
eastern coast, eighty-six miles above Pondichery, in 
1639, and had built on that plot a fort which they 
had called Fort St. George. The natives called the 
plot Chennapatanam, the English gave it the name 
Madras. The locality had not been carefully selected. 
The roadstead, from October to January, was danger- 
ous. The soil of the country about the fort was 
dry and sterile, and the country itself was but 
scantily populated. Nevertheless, the enterprise of the 
English had overcome some of these obstacles and had 
defied others. A considerable native population had 
gathered round the place, and the vessels which 
came every year from Europe succeeded in landing 
and taking their cargoes without much damage. At 
the moment when France declared war against 
England (March, 1 744) the chief of the English settle- 
ment was Governor Morse, a merchant engaged all 
his life in trade, and not very conversant with 

Although France had declared war against England, 
the English Government had taken a far wider grasp 
of the situation which such a declaration might pro- 
duce than had the Government of France. The story 
of the prosperity of Pondichery and the versatile 
talent of its Governor had reached England, and, on 
the declaration of war, the English Ministry despatched 


orders to Commodore Barnett, then on the Eastern 
station, to proceed to the eastern coast of India, and 
employ there his superiority of force to the best 
advantage. The preparations of the French Govern- 
ment were not nearly so forward. The Directors of 
the Perpetual Company wrote, however, to Dupleix to 
inform him that they had instructed M. de la Bour- 
donnais, Governor of the Isles of France and Bourbon, 
to sail with a squadron to his assistance. Meanwhile 
they urged him to endeavour to come to an under- 
standing with Governor Morse, to plead that the 
settlements had no cause of quarrel, and to suggest 
that they should remain neutral during the war of 
their principals. 

Dupleix did not consider the proposition as either 
practical or possible. He made it nevertheless. But 
Morse saw only the immediate advantage. The British 
squadron might arrive at any moment. Then Pondi- 
chery would be at his mercy. He did not care to 
imagine that possibly the day might arrive when the 
situations would be inverted. He pleaded therefore 
the orders he had received from England, and declined 
the proposal. 

Almost simultaneously with the receipt of this reply 
came information from the islands that La Bourdonnais 
had sent back his squadron to France. Left then to 
his own resources, Dupleix set to work to find a 
method of baffling the greed of his rivals, and he 
found it. Pondichery itself was powerless, for the 
rampart he was building was not nearly completed, 


and he could dispose of but 436 Europeans. But at 
this crisis the friendly relations he had been careful 
to cultivate with the native princes bore a rich and 
abundant fruit. Dupleix wrote to the Nuwab of the 
Karnatik, reminded him of the friendly relations 
which had existed between the French settlement and 
his predecessors ; of the moral support rendered by 
Pondichery to the Karnatik ruler at the time of the 
Maratha invasion ; of the desire of the French to live 
at peace with all around them; and begged him to 
employ his authority to prevent his tenants, the 
English, from attacking a settlement, the chief of 
which was an officer of the Great Mughal, and his 
own friend. 

The Nuwab, Anwaru' din, had but recently suc- 
ceeded to his office, but he was cognisant of all the 
circumstances referred to by Dupleix. Neither he, 
nor any man in India, regarded the scattered European 
settlers on isolated parts of the coast as possessing 
claims to be seriously reckoned with. They were 
vassals of the lord paramount, simple traders de- 
pendent upon his goodwill, nothing more. But the 
French had the character of being polite, friendly, 
unaggressive, desirous to conciliate. They had had, 
too, opportunities of displaying their sympathy. The 
manner in which they had used those opportunities 
had made an impression. Anwaru' din then acted in 
the spirit of the request preferred to him by Dupleix. 
He informed Morse that he would not permit him to 
attack the French settlement. He added that in 


similar circumstances he would forbid the French to 
attack the English settlement. 

For the moment, then, Dupleix was safe. But the 
English squadron had arrived, and on the side of the 
sea Pondichery was virtually blockaded. There was 
still then cause for anxiety. The reader can imagine, 
then, the reaction of joy which was produced by the 
arrival of information from a sure source (May, 1746) 
that the long-despaired-of squadron of La Bourdonnais 
had been sighted off the western coast. 

La Bourdonnais, after an early career full of 
promise, h$d succeeded, in 1 735, M. Dumas as Governor 
of the Isles of France and Bourbon. It is not too 
much to say that by his own teaching and example 
he had laid the foundation of the future prosperity of 
those islands. He had proceeded to France in 1740 
with the object of personally convincing the French 
Government of the enormous advantage which must 
accrue to the French possessions in India, if, in the 
event of a war with England, they had a certain base 
of operations in the Indian Ocean, where land-forces 
could be trained, and whence ships could sally to prey 
upon the commerce of their rivals ; that they actually 
possessed in the two islands such a base, and it was 
only necessary that he should have the ships and the 
men. After many rebuffs La Bourdonnais succeeded 
in convincing Cardinal Fleury of the reasonableness of 
his contention, and in 174 1 he proceeded to the islands 
with five ships belonging to the Company. Hardly 
had he arrived there when information reached him 


of the dangers threatening Pondichery from the in- 
vasion of the Marathas, referred to in a previous page. 
He sailed then for that place, found that the tact of 
M. Dumas had averted the danger, but that Mahe, on 
the western coast, was threatened. Thither then he 
proceeded, and having ensured its safety, returned to 
the islands. On his arrival there he was met by an 
order from Cardinal Fleury to send back his ships to 
France, that pacific statesman fearing lest the English 
should take umbrage at the presence of such an arma- 
ment off the coasts of India. La Bourdonnais obeyed, 
sent back his ships, and tendered his resignation. 
Meanwhile Fleury had died. A few months later war 
was declared. The position which La Bourdonnais 
had foreseen, and to meet which he had made his 
journey to France, had arrived, but the folly of his 
superiors had torn from his hands the weapon with 
which he would have conjured the storm. Sensible 
too late of their folly, the Government ordered him to 
remain at his post and do his best. Brave and 
resolute, La Bourdonnais threw his soul into the task ; 
improvised a fleet, trained sailors, drilled soldiers, laid 
hands on all the vessels which came from France, and 
on June i, 1746, sailed with nine ships, poorly armed 
and badly manned, to carry aid to the threatened 
settlements of France in southern India. Towards 
the end of the month he was off Mah^, learnt there 
that the English squadron had been last heard of off 
Ndgapatnam, near the French settlement of Karikal, 
and that it was waiting there to intercept him. He 


sailed at once to meet it, encountered it, commanded 
by Commodore Peyton, off Nag&patnam, fought with 
it an action, indecisive indeed, but the result of which 
was to cause Peyton to abandon the eastern coast to 
his enemy and to sail for Trinkamali ; and anchored 
two days later in the roadstead of Pondichery. 

Then there came into contact two men, both clothed 
with authority, each of whom desired to be first, and 
neither of whom would be content with the role of 
second. Up to the day of meeting each had professed 
the most earnest desire to co-operate with the other. 
' The honour of success,' Dupleix had written in the 
early part of the year, 'will be yours, and I shall 
hold myself fortunate in contributing thereto through 
means which owe their value entirely to your skill/ 
On his side La Bourdonnais had written : ' We ought 
to regard one another as equally interested in the 
progress of events, and work in concert. For my 
part, Sir, I devote myself to you beforehand, and I 
swear to you a perfect confidence.' Such had been 
their professions before they had met, when danger 
seemed very close to the French settlement. But they 
had not met an hour before the question arose which 
of the two men, the one Director-General of all the 
French possessions in India, the other Admiral of the 
fleet which he had formed, and manned, and instructed 
himself, was to be supreme. The English fleet had 
disappeared. Madras was open to attack. If only it 
were possible to obtain the tacit consent of the Nuwab 
the French could visit the English settlement with the 


fate with which her Governor and the Commodore 
acting in concert with him had threatened Pondi- 
chery. The question seemed to depend upon a cordial 
understanding between the French Governor and the 
French Admiral. Madras was comparatively defence- 
less. The best chance for her safety lay in the 
possibility of a disagreement, or want of cordial action, 
between Dupleix and La Bourdonnais. 


The Fikst Blow for Predominance 

Into the details of the quarrel between the chief 
civil authority in India and the commander of the 
fleet, I shall enter only so far as they affect the main 
object of my book. By the orders transmitted to him 
from Paris, La Bourdonnais was compelled to admit 
the superior authority on land of the Director-General 
of the French settlements in India. .The idea of the 
capture of Madras had been a leading idea alike with 
Dupleix and La Bourdonnais. Yet, now that the 
hour had arrived to strike the blow, whilst Dupleix 
remained firm and constant to his purpose, La Bour- 
donnais shewed a disposition to hold back. He 
proposed first to attack Fort St. David, a fort pur- 
chased in 1 69 1 by the English, near the town of 
Gudalur, sixteen miles south of Pondichery, and 
which at one time had been their head-quarters. 
When Dupleix protested against this proceeding as 
too petty, La Bourdonnais declared he would sail in 
pursuit of the English fleet. He did sail, , caught 
sight of it, but unable to bring it to action, returned, 
the 25th of August, to Pondichery. There again he 
displayed great unwillingness to undertake the ex- 
pedition against Madras. The burden of his objection 


was that it would be dangerous to attack Madras 
until the English fleet should have been destroyed. 
He dwelt, moreover, on the perils to which he would 
expose his ships by remaining on the coast after the 
1 5th of October, about which date the monsoon was • 
accustomed to come on with a fury dangerous to 
ships anchored in an open roadstead, exposed to its 
full force. At last, the 27th of August, Dupleix 
unable to persuade, acting in concert with his Council, 
served on the admiral a summons, calling upon him 
' on the part of the King and the Company to make 
choice of one of the two plans ' they had presented to 
him the day previous. The first of these plans pre- 
scribed an attack on Madras, the second, the pursuit 
and destruction of the English fleet. They added: 
1 these are the only plans we consider practicable, 
suitable to present circumstances, to the glory of the 
King, to the honour of the Nation, to the interests of 
the Company, to the strength of his squadron, and the 
weakness of his enemies by sea and land.' These 
plans were plainly specified. La Bourdonnais was 
required either to attack Madras, or to sail in pursuit 
of the English fleet. 

In consequence of this citation La Bourdonnais 
sailed for Madras the evening of the 1 2th of September, 
joined his fleet — which he had despatched on the 28th 
of August with orders to anchor off the Madras coast- 
on the 1 4th, landed 600 men with two guns the same 
evening twelve miles south of the English fort, and 
increasing them on the 15th to 11 00 Europeans, 400 
D 2 


sipahis, and about the same number of Africans 
brought from the Islands, he marched on Fort St. 
George, and summoned it to surrender. 

Governor Morse was in no condition to offer a 
resistance likely to prove successful. At the moment 
Fort St. George contained behind its ramparts only 
some 300 soldiers, but of these only 200 were fit for 
duty. It is true that amongst its merchants or 
factors there was the budding genius destined, a few 
years later, to baffle all the plans of Dupleix, but 
whose brilliant talents were concealed at the time 
behind a morose exterior and by intense depression 
of spirits. But the situation was too desperate to be 
affected even by the genius which Robert Clive was 
soon to develope. Governor Morse, indeed, attempted 
to obtain from the Nuwab of the Karnatik the same 
protection which that ruler had accorded to Pondi- 
chery. But he approached him unskilfully, and his 
messenger was dismissed without an answer. He 
could do no more. On the sist, then, he surrendered 
the fort and its dependencies to La Bourdonnais, the 
garrison becoming prisoners of war. 

Into the contention which followed between La 
Bourdonnais and Dupleix as to whether the right to 
dispose of the conquered place rested with the Com- 
mander of the fleet or with the Governor and Council 
of Pondichery, it is foreign to the purpose of this work 
to enter. It must suffice to state that the Home 
Government decided in a despatch sent in anticipation, 
it would seem, of a conflict of authority in favour of 


Dupleix, and, after a delay of nearly five weeks, 
characterised by the most unseemly contentions be- 
tween the representatives of the Civil and Naval 
power of France on the coast, La Bourdonnais handed 
over Fort St. George and its dependencies to M. 
Despremesnil, a member of the Pondichery Council, on 
the 23rd of October, and having as far as possible 
repaired the damages done to his fleet by the bursting 
of the monsoon on the 15th, sailed, first for Pondichery, 
and ultimately to the islands, and thence to France. 

Sole master now of the situation in India, Dupleix, 
whose clear brain as yet only aspired to make France 
supreme, if not alone, amongst the European nations 
on the coast, set himself to gain, if it were possible, the 
assent of the Nuwab of the Karnatik to the retention 
by France of her conquest. He had induced the 
Nuwab to assent to his attack upon Madras by an 
assurance that, the place once taken, he would transfer 
it to the Nuw&b himself. Possibly, at the time he 
made this promise, he was sincere. But the long 
delay caused by the refusal of La Bourdonnais to 
transfer the fort to the Pondichery authorities had 
changed the position. The Nuwab, mistrusting the 
assurances of Dupleix, that the delay in making over 
Fort St. George to his agents was caused by the in- 
subordinate action of the French officer in command, 
had displayed all the angry feelings of an irresponsible 
ruler who feels that he has been duped, and, even 
before La Bourdonnais had departed, he had begun to 
collect troops in the vicinity of the fort to compel its 


transfer. Dupleix was neither blind nor indifferent to 
the coming danger. But his position was bristling 
with difficulties. La Bourdonnais had entered into a 
compact with the English for the ultimate restoration 
to them of Fort St. George. Dupleix had, at the 
time, absolutely refused to recognise the compact. 
The French force had been able, he argued, to compel 
the surrender of Madras without conditions. He 
would then ratify no arrangement of that character, 
made contrary to his express directions, and therefore 
ultra vires. His position with respect to the Nuwab 
was altogether different. To obtain his permission to 
attack Madras he had promised to transfer it to that 
prince. But, now that he had it, he was determined 
to use all the means at his disposal to endeavour to 
creep out of this obligation. His heart had already 
begun to swell with hopes of expelling the English 
traders from all their possessions on the coast, and he 
feared lest the Nuwab might restore to them the 
conquest which he had been at such pains to make for 
France. Had a good understanding with La Bour- 
donnais been possible he might have indulged in a 
still more soaring vision. Had that admiral, before 
the monsoon broke, sailed for the Htigli with his fleet 
he might have effected at Chatanati (Calcutta) that 
which he had accomplished at Madras, and given his 
countrymen not merely supremacy, but undivided 
sway from the Hugli to Cape Comorin. 

But La Bourdonnais had gone. One part of the 
dream could however be accomplished if he could 


retain Madras. To effect this end Dupleix exhausted 
all his powers of diplomacy. But the Nuwab was 
thoroughly roused. He and his advisers felt that they 
had been duped, and they did not like it. The Nuwab 
continued then his preparations, and sent his son, 
Maphuz Khan, to lead against Fort St. George the 
levies he had raised. Dupleix, resolved to retain it, 
sent instructions to Despremesnil to defend Fort St. 
George at all hazards, promising him a speedy re- 
inforcement. Maphuz Khan, at the head of 10,000 
men, mostly cavalry, had appeared before Madras 
about the 25th of October, and a few days later 
reduced the garrison of about 500 men to great 
extremities by cutting off their water supply. To 
recover the springs Despremesnil ordered, on the 2nd 
of November, a sally of 400 men accompanied by two 
field-pieces. It was the first contest between the 
European settlers and the soldiers of the soil, and it 
was a type of all that were to follow. The two guns 
did the business. The natives had been accustomed 
to long intervals between each discharge. They were 
not disconcerted then by the opening fire. But the 
almost immediate discharge of the same guns surprised, 
the third frightened them, and they fled in dismay. 
They had lost 70 men, the French had not a single 
man wounded. 

But in a few hours the panic in the Nuwab's camp 
subsided, and when scouts informed Maphtiz Khan 
that a relieving French force, consisting of but 230 
Europeans and 700 sipahis, without a single gun, was 


approaching, he fearlessly led a force of 10,000 
men to dispute with them the passage of the river 
Adyar. The relieving force was commanded by an 
Engineer officer of great ability, named Paradis. He 
reached the northern bank of the Adyar on the 4th of 
November, only to see on the opposite bank the 
serried ranks of the enemy. There was no turning 
the position. He must dare to trust the interests of 
his countrymen in a very unequal contest, or to 
retreat. Not for a second did he hesitate. Fording 
the river, he directed one volley at the masses in front 
of him, and charged. The effect was electric. The 
native troops, unaccustomed to such prompt audacity, 
fled, panic-stricken. An opportune sally from Fort 
St. George completed their discomfiture. Never was a 
victory more complete or more decisive. 

It was, indeed, a battle to be remembered. The 
success of the first sortie from Madras had been attri- 
buted by the natives to the novel method of the 
artillery fire. But, on the Adyar, the French had 
not a single gun: Maphuz Khan had many. The 
battle was won by boldness, by £Lan, by dash, by 
daring to affront danger. It was this battle, called 
after the place near which it was fought, the battle 
of St. Thom^, which inverted the position of the 
European settler and the native overlord. Up to 
that time the superiority of the latter had never been 
disputed by either French or English. The repre- 
sentatives of both nations had been content to be the 
vassals of the Nuwab of the Karnatik. The battle of 


St. Thom^ effected a revolution in this respect. To 
Europeans and Natives alike it was as the storming 
of the Bastille. Thenceforward the alliance of the 
Europeans came to be eagerly sought by every 
pretender to dominion. The revolution had been 
effected by the genius of Dupleix. To him it opened 
new visions, illimitable plans of dominion. It had 
revealed to him how he could bring Southern India 
entirely under French influence. It was only requisite 
that the war with England should continue, and 
that he should have a free hand. The rest he would 
care for. 


The Flaw in the Machine 

Dupleix had everything within his* power. He 
had Pondichery, Karikal, and Madras. He had in- 
spired the Nuwab with a wholesome dread of French 
prowess. The English, to the number of about 200, 
all told, had taken refuge in Fort St. David, a fort 
purchased by the East India Company in 1691, close 
to the native town of Gudalur, sixteen miles south 
of Pondichery. The fort was not strong, and a bold 
effort, well directed, could have secured it, for Dupleix 
could put into the field at least 900 Europeans. 

Dupleix had many brilliant qualities. He was a 
great organiser, could take a comprehensive and accu- 
rate view of the political situation ; was thoroughly 
acquainted with the weak and the strong points of his 
position. But there was one flaw in his organisation. 
He was not a man of action. He did not possess the 
power, granted in a marvellous degree to the man 
who was soon to become his chief opponent, of per- 
sonally directing operations in the field. At the 
moment at which we have arrived he recognised that 
there was but one thing to be done to complete the 
destruction of the English, and that was to drive 
them from Fort St. David. Their expulsion would 


complete the work begun at Madras. It presented no 
difficulties, for he outnumbered his enemy in the 
proportion of about five to one. 

He saw as clearly as we, looking back, can see it 
now, that it was the one thing to be done. Not for 
an instant did he hesitate. He organised a force of 
900 Europeans, 600 trained sipahis, 100 Africans, 
with six field-pieces and six mortars, to march against 
the place. Then came the question of command. He 
had at least one capable officer at his disposal, the 
Paradis who had triumphed at St. Thome. But 
Paradis was only a captain, and the senior officers 
insisted on their rights. In an evil hour Dupleix 
recognised the force of their arguments, and confided 
the command of the expedition to an incapable octo- 
genarian named de Bury. De Bury marched against 
Fort St. David the 19th of December, crossed the 
Panar river the following morning, took possession of 
a walled garden, and allowed his troops to disperse to 
cook their dinners, without placing sentries of any 
kind. There they were surprised and compelled to a 
hasty and disorderly flight by the native troops of the 
Nuwab of the Karnatik, led by his two sons, — the 
very troops whom 230 of them had beaten but seven 
weeks before. 

This was a blow, though not ail irreparable blow. 
To minimise its effects Dupleix reopened negotiations 
with the Nuwab, who, he had some reason to believe, 
was anxious for an accommodation. He found the 
Nuwab not indisposed to come to an arrangement, 


provided only that Fort St. George were transferred 
to his keeping. To bring the negociation to an issue, 
one way or another, Dupleix resolved to surprise 
Fort St. David by an attack from the sea-side. For 
this purpose he embarked 500 men in country boats, 
and sent them to the attack (January 10). But the 
elements were adverse. A storm came on, which 
compelled the boats to return. 

But the blind goddess was not even then wearied. 
She gave him another chance, and a great one. Ten 
days after the fruitless boat expedition a French 
squadron of four ships, under Commodore Dordelin, 
arrived off the coast. It would seem that a combined 
attack by sea and land on the English fort could not 
have failed. It is difficult to say why it was not 
attempted. Possibly the solution is to be found in 
the nerveless character of Dordelin, and in the fact 
that, on the seas, he was not subject to the orders of 
the Pondichery Council. The appearance of the 
squadron off the coast had, however, the effect of 
bringing the Nuwab to terms. He had never much 
cared for the English, and believing that they were 
abandoned by their countrymen, whilst the French 
had the support of four ships of war ; dreading more- 
over lest the French should seriously threaten him in 
the province of Arcot, he renounced his claims on 
Madras, and signed with Dupleix a treaty in which 
he confirmed the French in the possession of the 
territories they actually held. This treaty was ratified 
by his son, Maphuz Khan, in person (February 1748). 


Now, at last, Dupleix had the opportunity which 
a bold stroke might have made decisive. A well- 
directed attack on Fort St. David, supported by the 
ships, could not have failed. The garrison had no 
longer the army of the Nuwab to depend upon. But 
the blow, to be successful, must be struck at once. 
The English squadron was in the Hugli, waiting 
only for reinforcements, now overdue, to sail down to 
the succour of their countrymen. In war the oppor- 
tune moment can never be allowed to pass with 
impunity. But, on this occasion, Dupleix did un- 
accountably allow it to slip. Without any protest on 
his part, indeed, it would seem with his full concur- 
rence, Dordelin, after the signature of the treaty with 
the Nuwab, sailed for the western coast (February 
19). Possibly he dreaded lest the northerly winds 
then prevailing might bring down upon him the 
English squadron whilst he was engaged before Fort 
St. David. 

When the squadron had left, Dupleix, whose mind 
always recognised what ought to be done, organised a 
new expedition against Fort St. David. With the 
consent of the superior officers he confided the com- 
mand to the capable Paradis. That officer set out 
March 13, crossed the Panar, took possession of the 
walled garden from which de Bury had been so pre- 
cipitately expelled, and made his preparations for 
attack the following morning. But Fortune, who 
had granted Dupleix so many opportunities, who 
had given him the whole period from December 10 to 


the first week in March in which to make the attack 
with a certainty of success, gave sudden evidence that 
she was not to be trifled with with impunity. Twenty- 
four hours probably, forty-eight certainly, would have 
made all the difference, for Fort St. David could not 
have offered a serious resistance to a daring attack. 
But when the morning of the 14th of March broke, 
Paradis beheld the sea facing Gudalur covered with 
ships bearing the flag of England, and having on 
board a reinforcement of a hundred men for the 
garrison of the threatened fort. Kecognising that 
the English fleet was at once a succour to Fort 
St. David and a menace to Pondichery, he re- 
traced his steps to the camp near that town, and a 
few days later, when the English fleet appeared before 
it, entered the town itself. Dupleix had recognised 
that he, who had planned the expulsion of the 
English, might have to exert all his resources to 
ward off the counter-blow which the islanders were 
about to deliver. 

But fortune gave him one more chance. The op- 
portune arrival of a French squadron drew off the 
English fleet, and Dupleix, thoroughly alive now to 
the value of time, resolved to strike one more blow 
for Fort St. David. On the 27th of June he de- 
spatched a force of 1800 men, of whom 800 were 
Europeans, to capture that place. Who the com- 
mander was I have been unable to ascertain, but he 
must have been a rash and incapable man. There 
had arrived at Fort St. David, some six months 


before, an officer who is one of the splendid illus- 
trations of British skill and daring in India, Major 
Stringer Lawrence, and he commanded in chief at 
the English fort. Deceiving the French commander 
by reports, which the latter accepted without due 
inquiry, he led him to make a careless attack on the 
strongest part of the fort, received him there with his 
full force, and compelled him to retreat, beaten, 
baffled, and humiliated, to Pondichery. 

This was his last attempt on Fort St. David. A 
few weeks later Dupleix was called upon to defend 
Pondichery against a powerful English fleet under the 
command of Admiral Boscawen. 


The English Besiege Pondichery 

Despatches from France had warned Dupleix that 
an English force, escorted by an English fleet, more 
powerful than any which had till then appeared in 
the Indian seas, had quitted England in the preceding 
November. At the period at which we have arrived, 
the end of June 1748, it might arrive at any moment. 
Renouncing then, as I have stated, further attempts 
on Fort St. David, Dupleix devoted himself, with all 
the energy of his nature, to strengthen the defences of 
Pondichery. With the invaluable aid of Paradis he 
made of the small fort of Ariakupun, nearly two 
miles from the town, an almost impregnable outwork, 
whilst the defences of the town itself he completed in 
a manner such as to render them, if well defended, 
very formidable if assailed by any but a very 
superior force. 

But the force conveyed by the ships of Admiral 
Boscawen was very formidable. The fleet itself was, 
including the ships in the Indian seas, composed of 
thirty vessels, of which thirteen were ships of the 
line. The land forces it carried numbered 1400. But 
Holland was at war with France, and that country 


had pledged herself to supply 120 men from the gar- 
rison of the Dutch settlement of Nagapatnam. The 
same power had supplied likewise six ships belonging 
to her East India Company, conveying 500 tried 
soldiers. Added to these a large proportion of the 
sailors of both fleets were available for land service. 
It was certain that the Admiral would be able to put 
in action against the town not less than 3720 Euro- 
peans, aided by more than 2000 natives, armed and 
drilled in the European fashion. 

Against this overwhelming force, as it seemed to 
the defenders, Dupleix had in Pondichery and Aria- 
kupum 1 800 Europeans and 3000 sipahis. 

The combined fleets appeared off the coast on the 
nth of August, and the land operations began on the 
19th. They continued till the 17th of October. 

The attack was conducted with great vigour, for 
the Admiral knew that it would be dangerous to stay 
off the coast after the second week in October. The 
operations against Ariakupum, which it was neces- 
sary to gain before Pondichery could be attacked, 
were conducted with the greatest energy. But the 
defence was in all respects equal to the attack. I 
have before me a journal of the daily operations of 
the defence, written by the Diwan of M. Dupleix, a 
native named Rangapoul^, full of interesting details. 
It would seem from this that to Paradis was intrusted 
the defence of Ariakupum ; that he repulsed all the 
assaults made upon it by the besiegers up to the 30th 
of August ; that on that date the English succeeded 


in exploding the powder-magazine with the effect of 
rendering Ariakupum no longer tenable ; that Para- 
dis and his troops succeeded in falling back on Pondi- 
chery, the siege of which really commenced the day 
following. Rangapoul^ relates how, on the nth of 
September, — not the 6th as stated by Mr. Orme, — 
Paradis was directed to make, and did make, a sortie 
at the head of from 800 to 900 men ; how the native 
spy, who had given the information which had led 
Dupleix to decide on the sortie, led him into an am- 
buscade ; how, suddenly assailed by a fire from his 
flank, Paradis was shot through the head and killed ; 
how, despite this heavy loss of his best officer, Du- 
pleix never despaired. So stoutly did he defend 
himself that Admiral Boscawen was slowly brought 
to the conclusion that it would be impossible to take 
the place before the monsoon should set in. Vainly 
did he bring up his ships as close as he dared to 
bombard the place. On the 13th of October he felt 
that he must retreat. On the 14th he called a 
council of war, and with the advice of its members, 
in which he concurred, gave the necessary orders to 
destroy the batteries, the provisions, the camp equi- 
page, and to re-embark. On the 17th, the besieging 
force, the largest body of Europeans till then massed 
on Indian soil, broke up and retreated on Fort St. 
David, leaving behind it 1065 men, who had suc- 
cumbed either to the enemy's fire or to sickness 
contracted during the siege. The loss of the French 
amounted to 200 Europeans and 50 natives. 


From the journal I have quoted it would seem that 
it was on the ist of October that Dupleix realised 
that the English must eventually raise the siege. 
Some prisoners he had taken revealed the losses and 
discouragement of the besiegers, the anger of their 
admiral. On the 6th, Dupleix had learned from a 
similar source that the besiegers were suffering from 
sickness, and that, as a last resource, Admiral Bos- 
cawen intended to bring up his ships to bombard the 
place: on the 7th, that the fire of twenty-one ships 
had been brought to bear, but that the cannon-balls 
had fallen short. Of the conduct of Dupleix on the 
following day when a heavier fire was brought to 
bear, the Diwan writes : ' What has become of the 
bravery of the English compared with that of the 
incomparable Dupleix ? It has vanished like night.' 
On the 9th and nth he records the damaging effect 
of the fire from new French batteries brought to bear 
on the English ships. On the 13th he states that 
deserters had brought news that the raising of the 
siege had been practically decided upon in conse- 
quence mainly of the near approach of the monsoon. 
On the 1 6th he records the realisation of all their 
hopes, and the despatch in pursuit of the retiring 
troops of a strong force of European and native 
cavalry and infantry: on the 17th, the celebration of 
a ' Te Deum ' in honour of the occasion : on the 1 8th, 
the departure of the allied fleets. 

The raising of the siege of Pondichery left the rival 
parties almost in the position in which they were 

E 2 


before the siege had been thought of. The French 
had Pondichery and Madras, the English only Fort 
St. David and the adjoining town of Gudalur. The 
English troops in that fort had indeed been slightly 
increased in number, but, early in the following year 
(1749), the reception by Dupleix of reinforcements to 
the extent of 200 men restored to the French their 
considerable numerical superiority. Dupleix was 
once more planning the reopening of operations 
against Fort St. David when he received information 
of the signing of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, one 
clause of which necessitated the mutual restitution of 
conquests. With a bitter pang, then, he was com- 
pelled to restore to his late besiegers the Madras 
which he had gained by so much daring, and at the 
expense of breaking his intimate relations with the 
princes of the soil, a Madras much improved and 
strengthened. After five years of contest he found 
himself in the position, as far as possessions were 
concerned, in which he had been when he entered 
upon the strife. But his reputation, his prestige, and 
the reputation and prestige of his countrymen, had 
enormously increased. That of the English, by the 
capture of Madras, by their striking failure before 
Pondichery, had proportionately diminished. There 
can be no doubt but that, at this time, the French 
stood far higher in the estimation of the native 
princes and people than did their rivals. It was 
clear to Dupleix, even when he restored Madras, that 
this higher prestige would stand him in good stead in 


the contests which, despite the Treaty of Aix-la- 
Chapelle, he saw looming in the future. For his 
keen perception had convinced him that the hatred 
between the two European nations, once more face 
to face on the Coromandel coast, would be restrained 
from action by no paper convention arrived at in 


The Zenith of his Success 

When the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle forced the repre- 
sentatives in southern India of the two rival nations 
to revert to the position each had held before the out- 
break of the war, and to exchange promises of amity, 
the results of the revolution which the victory of 
Paradis at St. Thom^ had brought about became at 
once apparent. Before that battle had been fought the 
French and English had been alike regarded as simple 
traders. Subsequently to St. Thom^, they were looked 
upon as warriors of a very superior order, whose assist- 
ance in quarrels between rival pretenders would bring 
victory to the pretender whose cause they might be 
induced to espouse. This feeling especially prevailed 
with regard to the French, whose capture of Madras 
and whose repulse of the English from Pondichery 
had given them a very high prestige. It was im- 
possible, so long as the two nations were openly at 
war, that the native princes should utilise their 
superior prowess in the manner indicated. But no 
sooner had the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle ensured a 
nominal peace between them on Indian soil, than 
several native princes began to cast about how they 
could induce the chiefs of the two establishments to 


espouse their cause. One circumstance contributed 
largely to the success of the idea which these chiefs 
cherished. The treaty had left the French and English 
in southern India with a far greater number of 
European troops at their disposal than were required 
for a peace establishment. Unless they could profit- 
ably employ some of these, the respective Governors 
of Pondichery and Madras, of Pondichery especially, 
would be reduced to considerable straits to meet the 
expenditure thereby caused. It was likely, then, that 
any proposal from a native prince of position made 
to Dupleix to hire the superabundant troops at his 
disposal, either for payment in money or a grant of 
territory, or for both combined, would meet with a 
ready assent. The reader will have seen that the 
battle of St. Thom^ had produced upon his mind an 
effect greater even than it had produced on the minds 
of the princes of the soil. It had opened out a vista 
of supremacy scarcely bounded by the Vindhyan 
range. He had already, in his imagination, so manipu- 
lated the native princes as to acquire, first, a supreme 
influence; secondly, supreme power, south of that 
range. He had felt quite certain that, sooner or 
later, his assistance would be implored. Already 
he had intimate relations with influential chiefs, 
and he knew, far better than his rivals knew, how 
to work their passions to the development of his 
idea. Added to this, he had at his disposal a larger 
number of European troops than the English could 
muster ; he had trained, on the European model, a 


considerable number of sip&his, and he had, serving 
under him, a small but select body of Maratha horse. 
He was thus as ready to meet any demands the 
native chiefs might present to him, as these were to 
make them. 

Nor were the English less ready, though from an 
entirely different cause. They cherished no ideas of 
supreme influence and supreme authority in southern 
India. But they were a practical people. They had 
a superabundance of soldiers. There were many 
places on the coast the possession of which would open 
out to them great facilities for the extension of their 
trade. They were as willing therefore as were the 
French to lend their soldiers for a consideration. But 
it must be borne in mind that whilst, in the case of 
the French, the main consideration was the increase of 
political influence and political power, in that of the 
English it was extension and expansion of commerce 

It happened that whilst the rival nations were thus 
eager to lend their troops, the state of southern India 
was such that there was likely to be a multiplicity of 
borrowers. And as it was evident that the two 
people would not lend their men to the same prince, 
it followed that the moment the applications should 
be complied with, the French and English would be 
arrayed in arms against one another, as completely, 
though not as avowedly, as though no Treaty of Aix- 
la-Chapelle had ever been signed. 

In June, 1748, whilst the French and English were 
combating in the vicinity of Pondichery and Fort 


St. David, the Subahdar of the Deccan, Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
had died, leaving a numerous family. Of his sons and 
grandsons only one was regarded as having immediate 
pretensions to succeed him. This was Muzaffar Jang, 
the son of a daughter, whom he had nominated him- 
self. His eldest son was filling a high office at the 
court of Delhi ; his second son, Nadir Jang, was a 
debauchee whom he had disinherited ; and his three 
younger sons were in the harem. The rights of 
Muzaffar Jang to the succession had been confirmed 
by an Imperial farman from the Emperor. 

But, at the moment of the decease of the Subahdar, 
the nominated heir was absent at Bijapur, whilst the 
disinherited Nadir Jang was on the spot. The latter, 
disregarding his father's will and the farman of the 
Emperor, seized his father's treasures and had himself 
proclaimed Subahdar. Muzaffar Jang had at first the 
idea of invoking the assistance of the Marathas, and 
proceeded for this purpose to the court of Puna. 
There he met Chanda Sahib, son-in-law of the Dost 
All who had been Nuwab of the Karnatik, and who, 
taken prisoner some eight years before by the Mara- 
thas, had been kept since a prisoner from inability to 
pay the ransom demanded. Chanda Sahib was per- 
sonally allied with the French. Dupleix had received 
and protected his wife and family at Pondichery, 
where they still resided. The two princes soon be- 
came friends, and, acting on the advice of Chanda 
Sahib, Muzaffar Jang opened negotiations with Du- 
pleix. He represented to him that there were at 


Pun£ two princes, one the legitimate heir to the 
masnad of the Deccan, the other to the office of Nuwab 
of the Karnatik, and that they felt sure that with his 
powerful aid they might recover the positions which 
were their due. At the moment Dupleix was too 
much occupied with the English to respond satis- 
factorily to their requests, but no sooner had the 
conditions of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle been carried 
out in India, than he took the matter into most earnest 
consideration. He saw at a glance that a favourable 
response to the two suppliants would procure for him 
the very opening he required ; that, if by his means, 
Muzaffar Jang were to become Subahdar of the Deccan, 
and Chanda Sahib Nuwab of the Karnatik, the two 
most powerful princes in southern India — for Haidar 
Ali had not then raised Mysore to the position it 
attained under his tutelary genius — would become as 
French in all their sympathies, in all their actions, 
as though they were ruled from Pondichery. He 
recognised, in fact, in the applications from Puna the 
first step towards the realisation of his far-reaching 

No sooner, then, were his hands free than he 
guaranteed to the Peshwa the payment of the ransom 
of 700,000 rupees on behalf of Chanda Sahib, and 
promised both to that prince and to Muzaffar Jang 
all the assistance which Pondichery could furnish 
them in the carrying out of their schemes. Released 
from captivity, Chanda Sahib marched with a body 
of 3000 men he had levied towards the Karnatik, 


having entered into an agreement with Dupleix 
whereby he was to receive the aid of 2000 sipahis, 
drilled in the European fashion, and 400 Frenchmen. 
When he reached the frontier his own levies had in- 
creased to 6000. There he was joined by Muzaffar 
Jang at the head of 30,000 men. Towards the end 
of July the French auxiliaries, to the number stipu- 
lated, commanded by Bussy, afterwards to become 
very famous, and by d'Auteuil who had distinguished 
himself at the defence of Pondichery, found him at 
the Damalcherri Pass in the district of North Arcot. 
There they learnt that the actual Nuwab, Anwar-ud- 
din, the same who had disputed the right of the 
French to retain Madras, was with his two sons and 
a force of 20,000 experienced soldiers, aided by sixty 
European adventurers, waiting for them at Ambur, 
in the same district. On Ambur, then, they marched, 
sighted the Nuwab's army on the 3rd of August, 
attacked it, and obtained a complete victory. In the 
heat of the battle Anwar-ud-dfn was slain ; the eldest 
son, Maphuz Khan, was taken prisoner ; the younger, 
Muhammad Ali, destined to become famous through 
the championing of his cause by the English, fled as 
fast as he could ride to Trichinopoli. 

The battle was decisive. The two princes sup- 
ported by Dupleix became, in consequence of it, 
masters of all the Karnatik, save Trichinopoli. 
There remained, however, in addition to Trichinopoli, 
Nadir Jang to be reckoned with. That prince was 
in the field at the head of a considerable army. The 


question which presented itself to the two allies was 
whether they should march at once against him, or 
on Trichinopoli, thence to expel, if they could not 
capture, Muhammad All. They decided on the latter 
course. Between decision and execution, however, 
there was a very wide difference. Instead of march- 
ing direct on Trichinopoli, Chanda Sahib wasted a 
considerable time in assuring himself of his new 
dignity, then, accompanied by Muzaffar Jang, pro- 
ceeded to pay a ceremonious visit to Pondichery. 
Dupleix received them with the most brilliant display, 
and completed the conquest already more than half 
achieved of their hearts. The gratitude of Chanda 
Sahib was unbounded. He conferred upon Dupleix 
the sovereignty of eighty-one villages adjoining the 
French possessions, and made promises of still more 
substantial donations. Muzaffar Jang was not less 
lavish of promises, though for the moment he had 
little to bestow, for Nadir Jang was in possession. 
He stayed at Pondichery eight days; negotiated a 
treaty with Dupleix for the furnishing him with an 
auxiliary force of Frenchmen, and then set out to 
join his army. Chanda Sahib, whose family Dupleix 
had protected at Pondichery during the siege, re- 
mained, partly on their account, but mainly to concert 
measures with Dupleix. 

It was, indeed, a decisive moment in the fortunes 
of Chanda Sahib. The district of which the famous 
fort of Trichinopoli was the capital adjoined the 
South Arcot district, and, in those days, formed a 


portion of the territories of the Nuwab of the Karnatik. 
The battle of Ambur had assured to Chanda Sahib 
all the remainder. Of the districts which he claimed 
Trichinopoli alone remained unconquered. He knew 
the place well, for he had defended it against the 
Marathas, and his surrender of it had cost him seven 
years of captivity. Dupleix was very urgent with 
him to march upon it without delay. Until he had 
it, he told him, he could not reckon on maintaining 
his position. It was above all necessary that the 
Karnatik should be cleared of foes before the greater 
enterprise against Nadir Jang should be undertaken. 
The remonstrances on the part of Dupleix against 
delay were very urgent indeed. There were, however, 
circumstances which seemed to Chanda Sahib so full 
of the possibilities of danger on the one side, and so 
replete with temptations on the other, that he long 
hesitated as to the course he should follow. To enable 
the reader to judge the position I must recount the 
action of the English, during the period just covered 
by the story. 

I have stated that the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle had 
found the English, scarcely less than their rivals, 
with a plethora of soldiers. A tempting offer made 
to them by a pretender to the throne of Tanjore to 
cede to them the town of Devikota, advantageously 
situated on the coast 120 miles south of Madras on 
the Kolrun, the great northern artery of the Kaveri, 
and to pay all the expenses of the war, was eagerly 
grasped at, and in April, 1749, Captain Cope had 


been despatched with 430 English soldiers and 1000 
sipahis to seat the pretender on the coveted throne. 
Cope, after having been delayed on his way by a 
terrible storm, had reached the northern bank of the 
K61run, and had thence descried the reigning K&jas 
army, ready, not so much to dispute his passage as 
to entice him into the difficult country beyond it. 
Cope, however, had no intention of indulging their 
fancies. His orders were to get possession of Devi- 
kota. On that place accordingly he marched, expect- 
ing to be supported by Admiral Boscawen, whose 
fleet was still off the coast. But the same storm 
which had delayed his march had greatly damaged 
the English fleet, and when Cope arrived within a 
mile of Devikota not a ship was to be seen. Cope, 
whose character was not enterprising, after vainly 
cannonading the place, retreated on Fort St. David. 
But the English had set their hearts on Devikota. 
They therefore despatched a fresh force of 800 British 
troops and 1500 sipahis under the command of the 
capable Stringer Lawrence with instructions to take 
Devikota at any price. Lawrence stormed Devikota, 
and, throwing over the pretender on whose behalf 
the English had been nominally acting, made arrange- 
ments with the ruling prince for its permanent cession 
to the English Company. 

It was about this time that Mr. Floyer, the Governor 
of Madras, received tidings of the battle of Ambur 
and its consequences. It seemed to him that he had 
no choice but to recognise the prince in possession. 


and he accordingly recognised Chanda Sahib. But 
when he heard of the march of the new Nuwab on 
Pondichery, and of his reception there, and when 
about the same time he received imploring requests 
from Muhammad Ali urging him to espouse his cause, 
he hesitated for a moment whether he should recall 
his recognition. Admiral Boscawen, smarting under 
his repulse from Pondichery, promised to remain off 
the coast with his fleet, if he would return a favour- 
able reply to Muhammad Ali. But the risk was too 
great. Floyer did not care to pledge all the resources 
of the Presidency to the cause of a man who had 
apparently but a very slight following. He refused 
therefore the Admiral's offer. Boscawen then quitted 
the coast with his ships (November 1). 

Chanda Sahib had felt nervous and ill at ease so 
long as Boscawen remained off the coast. But no 
sooner had information reached him that the English 
fleet had sailed, than, quite relieved from his fears, 
he set out from Pondichery with an army 20,000 
strong, accompanied by Muzaffar Jang, and aided 
by 800 Frenchmen, 300 Africans, and a train of 
artillery, in the direction of Trichinopoli. 

Had Chanda Sahib only kept in view the one aim 
carefully instilled into his mind by Dupleix, he would 
have carried into action that great principle of the 
capable general, and have concentrated upon the 
decisive point of the campaign a force large enough 
to overcome all opposition. Had he marched, that is 
to say, directly on Trichinopoli, that place, feebly 


garrisoned by native troops, could not have offered 
a successful resistance. Dupleix had recognised this, 
and, counting on the carrying out of the plan he had 
carefully prepared, he regarded the departure of his 
guest's army for Trichinopoli as decisive of the war. 
His anger, rage, and disappointment may therefore be 
imagined when he received information, first, that 
Chanda Sahib had turned away from the road to 
Trichinopoli, to attack Tan] ore ; and, secondly, that 
when he had arrived before that place, instead of 
attempting a surprise which could scarcely have 
failed, he had entered into negotiations with its 
Raja, thus giving time to that prudent prince to 
strengthen his defences and to send to Nadir Jang 
for assistance. Angry as he was at the divergence 
from his plans, Dupleix recognised but one mode of 
repairing the mistake, and that was to assault and 
capture the place. He despatched instructions, then, 
to Duquesne, who commanded the French contingent, 
in that sense, and to Chanda Sahib, the most urgent 
request to support the attack with his whole force. 
The assault made in consequence of these instructions 
reduced the Raja to extremity. He hauled down 
his flag, and submitted to the onerous terms, limited 
chiefly to a large money payment, imposed upon him. 
But when the terms had been agreed to he put in 
action every wile of which he was master to delay 
the handing over of the coin, sending messengers to 
Nadir Jang to hasten his march. Chanda Sahib, 
despite the pressing entreaties of Dupleix, allowed 


himself to be cajoled. He was detained by promises 
before Tanjore until Nadir Jang had entered the 
Karnatik. Then, thoroughly aroused, he would have 
attempted to storm the town ; but his troops, alarmed 
by the near approach of Nadir Jang, not only refused 
to follow him, but broke up without orders, and fell 
back on Pondichery. 

This was a blow which for the moment shattered the 
plans of Dupleix. The position, indeed, was now 
inverted. For, whereas, but a few weeks before, 
his ally had possessed all the Karnatik except 
Trichinopoli, the whole of that province had now 
fallen into the hands of Nadir Jang, who, with an 
enormous army, estimated at 300,000 men, had 
arrived at Valdavur, just nine miles from Pondichery. 
The English, too, had now recognised Muhammad All 
as the true Nuwab, and that prince was likewise 
present. A few days later, April 2, Major Lawrence, 
with 6co Englishmen under his command, joined 
Nadir Jang. 

The occasion was one to test to the very core the 
stuff that was in a man. The weapons of Dupleix had 
broken in his hand, not from any fault or want of skill 
on his part, but because the weapons themselves were 
defective. It is not the fault of the swordsman if 
his sword-blade suddenly snaps ; nor of the infantry 
soldier if his bayonet bends in the thrust. Chanda 
Sahib had snapped like the sword-blade, and, at the 
moment, all the French superior military officers were 
bending bayonets. Duquesne had died before Tanjore. 


Goupil, who had succeeded him, was incapacitated by 
illness. The next officer, D'Auteuil, a good officer in 
a secondary position, was totally unfitted to lead in 
chief. Yet on this occasion, for want of a known 
better man, it was necessary to employ D'Auteuil. 
It would never do, argued Dupleix, to sit quietly in 
Pondichery, as if overawed, in the presence of an 
enemy within nine miles of the capital. There was 
but one mode, his long experience told him, of meeting 
Asiatics, and that was to affront them in the field. 
He could muster 2000 French soldiers and a respect- 
able force of sipahis, and the troops of Chanda Sahib 
and of Muzaffar Jang were there. Upon this principle, 
then, he would act. Accordingly he despatched all the 
troops at his disposal, except a few for the routine 
duties, with instructions to take up a position oppo- 
site to that of the enormous force of Nadir Jang, and, 
if occasion should offer, to attack it. Meanwhile, he 
endeavoured, by the means at which he was an adept, 
to win over Nadir Jang to French interests. 

Again did his weapon break in his hand. D'Auteuil, 
who commanded the French contingent, had planned 
a surprise of the enemy when, on the eve of the 
night on which he had decided to strike the blow, 
his officers announced to him that neither they nor 
their men would follow him. The unfortunate issue 
of the attempt on Tanjore, and the disappointment 
engendered by the failure to receive the promised 
prize-money there, had produced a discontent so deep- 
seated as to determine the officers and men not to 


fight. Nay more, they insisted on retreating. This 
they did during the night, leaving eleven guns and 
forty men behind them. Chanda Sahib accompanied 
them, commanding the rear-guard to cover the re- 
treat. Muzaffar Jang surrendered to the tender 
mercies of his uncle, who promptly had him hand- 
cuffed and placed in confinement. 

The retreat was not a very happy one. It was 
discovered early in the morning, and the Maratha 
horse, dashing in pursuit, caught up the demoralised 
army before it had entered Pondichery, and killed 
nineteen Frenchmen. The forty who had been left 
behind met the same fate. 

1 It is easy to imagine/ writes Dupleix in his Me- 
moirs, ■ what was the mortification of Dupleix 1 when 
he was informed of all the details of the conduct of 
our cowardly officers, and further, to complete his 
misfortunes, that Muzaffar Jang had been taken pri- 
soner and placed in irons by Nadir Jang.' But never 
was Dupleix greater than when confronted by difficul- 
ties which would have overwhelmed ordinary men. 
The arrival of the fugitives had given him the first 
intimation of the discontent which had produced the 
mutiny. In the crisis, he behaved with a vigour and 
an energy which produced the best results. He placed 
D'Auteuil under arrest for retreating without orders, 
the officers who had been the ring-leaders he brought 
to trial, the men he addressed in a tone and in a 
manner which speedily brought them to a condi- 
1 Dupleix wrote in the third person. 
F 2 


tion of shame and repentance. They implored to be 
allowed an opportunity of recovering their good name. 
Whilst thus dealing with his troops, he sent two 
envoys to treat with N&dir Jang. With that prince 
his tone was as haughty as though it were he who 
was dictating terms. He demanded that no one of 
the family of Anwaru'-din should be recognised as 
Nuw&b of the Karnatik, and that to the children of 
Muzaffar Jang should be given the estates of their 
father. Whilst thus openly asserting himself, he sent 
skilled native diplomatists to intrigue with some of 
the most powerful nobles in the camp of Nadir Jang. 
The result of their efforts will appear in due course. 

Nadir Jang refused the propositions of Dupleix. 
But his emissaries, who had been seven days in the 
camp of the Subahdar, had not been idle. He him- 
self had employed those seven days in the reorganisa- 
tion of his army. Some officers had been reduced. 
Others had expressed the most fervent contrition. 
The men were eager to wipe out the memory of their 
misconduct by brilliant service. D'Auteuil had com- 
pletely vindicated himself, and had been restored to 
command. Among the officers of the force, Dupleix 
had especially marked the bearing and action of a 
young major named De la Touche, and he had resolved 
to trust him with command. His design was to 
surprise the camp of Nadir Jang, and, in concert with 
the i^obles his emissaries had gained, to restore the 
vanished prestige of Pondichery. The duty was en- 
trusted to De la Touche. That brilliant young officer 


set out with 300 Frenchmen the night after the return 
of the envoys from Valdavar, surprised the camp 
about three o'clock in the morning, and returned to 
Pondichery before the paucity of his numbers could 
be perceived. His men had killed 1200 of the enemy, 
and had lost but three of their own number. But the 
blow had had all the effect Dupleix had hoped from 
it. It so frightened the Subahdar that he made a 
hasty retreat on Arcot, whilst Lawrence fell back with 
his English on Fort St. David. 

By the retreat of Nadir Jang, Muhammad All was 
left without support, close to the fortified pagoda of 
Tiruvadi, some thirteen miles from Fort St. David. 
D'Auteuil, making a night march with 500 men, seized 
that fortified pagoda ; and, placing in it a garrison of 
seventy men, of whom twenty were French, esta- 
blished himself firmly on the Panar. Muhammad 
Ali, alarmed, sent pressing messages alike to Nadir 
Jang and the English for aid. The former sent him 
20,000 men, the latter a detachment of 400 Englishmen 
and 1500 sipahis under Captain Cope. It happened 
that the Governor, Mr. Floyer, had been removed 
from his office, and Major Lawrence had been ordered 
to take his place, pending the arrival of the new 
Governor, Mr. Saunders, from Viszagatam. He had 
no choice, therefore, but to send Cope in command. 

Thus strengthened, Muhammad Ali marched against 
Tiruvadi. Alarmed by the formidable appearance it 
presented, he turned then to the French camp, and 
cannonaded the position taken up by D'Auteuil. But 


that officer was on the alert, and replied so warmly 
that the assailants, after losing many men, fell back 
discouraged. During their retreat a difference of 
opinion broke out between the two leaders, which 
culminated in the return of the English to Fort St. 
David, and in the encamping of Muhammad Ali, 
desirous of persuading the English to accompany him 
to Arcot, on the Panar, between Tiruvadi and Fort 
St. David, the river in his rear. 

Not a born soldier, nor gifted with the divine 
power — possessed in the highest degree of perfection 
by the rival who was to thwart all his plans — of 
carrying into execution plans suggested by his genius, 
Dupleix recognised on the instant the falseness of the 
position taken by Muhammad Ali, and he resolved to 
make him pay the penalty. Accordingly, he sent 
orders to D'Auteuil to break up his camp and move 
on Tiruvadi. There, he told him, he would be joined 
by 1 200 Frenchmen and 2500 sipahis led by De la 
Touche, and by 1000 horse under Chanda Sahib. At 
the head of the combined force he was to march at 
once to surprise Muhammad Ali. D'Auteuil carried 
out his orders to the letter ; stormed on the 1st of Sep- 
tember the camp of the pretender, though defended 
by 20,000 men, and drove the enemy in headlong 
flight towards Gingi. Muhammad Ali, followed by 
two attendants only, fled to Arcot. The loss of his 
followers was considerable. The French did not lose 
a single man. 

D'Auteuil, instructed by Dupleix, followed up the 


blow. Bussy was detached to march on Gingi, a 
town and fortress fifty miles distant, considered the 
strongest in South Arcot, and believed to secure to 
its possessor the command over that province. The 
natives regarded it as impregnable, for it had baffled 
even the famous Sivaji. Against this place Bussy 
marched on the 3rd of September with 250 Frenchmen 
and 1500 sipahis, arrived within three miles of it on 
the nth, defeated the troops in front of it, the 
remnants of the army of Muhammad All, the same 
day; and, following up his victory, gained the town 
before nightfall. There remained still the strong- 
fortress, which consisted of citadels on the summits of 
three steep mountains, covered by a cordon of ad- 
vanced works. Waiting till the moon should have 
hidden her light, Bussy, with three picked detachments, 
escaladed these simultaneously, and won them. As 
the day broke, his men had just gained the last citadel. 
It was a splendid performance, the like of which had 
never before been witnessed in India. 

It made a great impression. It roused Nadir Jang 
from the careless dissipation of his easy life. It 
terrified Muhammad All. It produced the general 
conviction that the French were irresistible. Nadir 
Jang had been just roused from his lethargy, when 
his terror was increased by the news that D'Auteuil 
was marching on Arcot. The next day brought him 
a letter from Dupleix, demanding the release of 
Muzaffar Jang and his restoration to the appoint- 
ments he had held in his grandfather's lifetime, the 


recognition of Chanda Sahib as Nuwab of the Karnatik, 
and the cession to the French of the town of Masuli- 
patam. The first of these conditions meant, the 
Subahdar considered, the release of a man who would 
at once pose as a rival to himself. Kather than that, 
it was better to risk the result of war. Accordingly, 
he marched with an army of upwards of 100,000 men in 
the direction of Gingi. For about two months the 
operations of both armies were prevented by an un- 
usually fierce rainy season. These months were 
employed by Dupleix in constant secret correspond- 
ence with the powerful chiefs who formed the back- 
bone of Nadir Jang's army, and who, he well knew, 
bore him personally no good- will. Finally, before the 
rainy season had ended, he had entered into a con- 
vention with these, that if Nadir Jang should still 
refuse acceptance of the terms offered by Dupleix, 
they should turn against him in the crisis of the 
first battle. Even the minor details, regulating 
the very moment of their defection, were carefully 

The inaction, forced upon him by the heavy rainy 
season, combined with the prospect of a long and 
hazardous campaign against an enemy so formidable 
as the French, produced a revulsion in the mind of 
Nadir Jang. So long as hostilities should last his 
presence in camp was necessary, and to a man of his 
sensual nature camp-life was an abhorrence. He 
wrote, then, early in December, to Dupleix, to offer to 
agree to the terms the latter had proposed three 


months earlier. Dupleix, regarding only the direct 
aim of all his negotiations — the establishment of 
French predominance in Southern India — and not 
very confident of the chances of war, wrote at once to 
D'Auteuil to suspend military operations pending the 
receipt of further instructions. But, meanwhile, a 
change had taken place in the command of the French 
auxiliaries. A severe attack of gout had compelled 
D'Auteuil to quit the army, and his place had been 
taken by the young and brilliant De la- Touche. 
That officer had been careful to maintain the secret 
correspondence with the disaffected nobles of the 
Subahdar's army which Dupleix had initiated. From 
these he learned the nature of the terms sent by 
Nadir Jang to Pondichery, and the assurance that 
they were not intended to be adhered to, and that it 
was advisable to act at once. Under the circum- 
stances, De la Touche considered himself justified in 
acting upon his earlier instructions. Transmitting 
then a reply to Dupleix that his orders had arrived 
too late, for that he had arranged with his friends in 
the Subahdar's camp to act that night (December 15), 
he set out at the head of 800 Frenchmen, 3000 
sipahis, and ten guns, for that camp. At four o'clock 
in the morning he sighted it, and attacked. At first, 
he carried all before him. But, in the very crisis of 
the action, he noticed advancing towards his left flank 
a body of some 20,000 men. Were these enemies, he 
would be ruined, for retreat was impossible. Very 
soon, however, he recognised the signal pre-arranged by 


the chiefs he had won over. The two armies joining, 
then made for the part of the field in which Nadir 
Jang was to be found. That prince, relying upon his 
dispatch to Dupleix, had not, at the first alarm, 
believed in the reality of the attack. When the fact 
could be no longer doubted, he took his station in the 
part of the field where his guns were posted, seated 
on his elephant. Near him, seated also on an elephant, 
but attended by an executioner who had orders to 
behead him on the first symptom of treason, was his 
nephew, Muzaffar Jang. Suddenly he noticed a falling 
back of his immediate troops, accompanied by a great 
commotion. He inquired the cause, and realising 
that some of his nobles had turned against him, he 
made a sign to the executioner to slay his victim. 
The man delayed ; and, at the moment, the Nuwab of 
Cuddapah, one of the leading rebels, approached the 
Subahdar, shot him through the heart, and, having 
ordered an attendant to cut off his head, placed it at 
the feet of Muzaffar Jang. 

For that prince, the protege of Dupleix, the friend 
of Chanda Sahib, there was thus an instant transition 
from a prison to a throne. He was at once recognised 
as Subahdar of the Deccan. There was not a man 
in the army of his uncle who did not at once transfer 
to him his allegiance. Bussy, who had been sent by 
De la Touche to convey his congratulations, found the 
recent prisoner sitting in state surrounded by his 
nobles. When, the same evening, De la Touche paid 
his respects in person, Muzaffar Jang announced to 


him his intention of proceeding at once to Pondichery, 
to obtain the advice of the illustrious man who ruled 

To Dupleix the news of the victory had come as a 
startling but most welcome surprise. He had not 
dared to hope for it, so impossible had it seemed to 
him. Yet it was in very deed the direct result of his 
own policy. He had first stretched out the hand to 
Muzaffar Jang. He had organised the conspiracy 
against his uncle. For a moment, so dark appeared 
the prospects of Muzaffar Jang, he was inclined to 
make terms with that uncle. The daring of De la 
Touche had saved him from that error. And now, 
his policy was triumphing all along the line. A 
French proteg^ was Subahdar of the Deccan. A French 
proteg^ would soon become Nuwab of the Karnatik. 
The English, without a leader, for Lawrence had left 
for England, and the superlative merits of Clive had 
not as yet been discovered, were crouching at Fort 
St. David. Their ally, Nadir Jang, was dead. Their 
proteg^, Muhammad All, had, after many difficulties, 
succeeded in reaching Trichinopoli, but without a 
following. Never had policy triumphed more com- 
pletely than had the policy of Dupleix. 

The visit of the new Subahdar to Pondichery only 
confirmed his power. The victory over Nadir Jang 
had brought vast riches to Pondichery, for the spoils 
were enormous. But those spoils were the least 
valued of the results. At the first formal meeting 
with Dupleix, Muzaffar Jang, in open darbar, conferred 


upon the French Governor the title of Nuw&b of the 
territories between the river Krishna and Cape Co- 
morin, including Maisur and the entire Karnatik ; he 
bestowed upon him as a personal gift the village 
of Valdavar, with the lands depending on it ; he 
created him a Commander of Seven Thousand, one of 
the highest honours known under the Mughals; he 
directed that the French coins should be the recog- 
nised currency of Southern India ; he confirmed the 
sovereignty of the French Company over Masulipatam 
and Yanaon, and finally assured Dupleix that he was 
the adviser to whom he would turn in all his political 

The conduct of Dupleix on this occasion was marked 
by a self-denial as politic as it was patriotic. Dupleix 
was not a self-seeker. His aim was the glory and 
interest of France. In negotiating with native princes 
he never allowed flattery or self-interest to turn him 
from the direct line of policy he had marked out. 
On this occasion he accepted with professions of 
gratitude the personal honours conferred upon him : 
he accepted for France the cession of territory about 
Masulipatam and Yanaon. But he did not, he felt he 
could not, accept the title of Nuwab of the Karnatik. 
Leading forward Chanda Sahib, he presented him to 
the new Subahdar as an old and tried friend upon 
whom that honour had been already conferred, and 
solicited confirmation of it. His renunciation pro- 
duced the very best effect. Chanda Sahib was at 
once invested. But of the three principal actors 


present at that interview Dupleix emerged from it 
the most powerful in influence and prestige. 

The battle gained by De la Touche had indeed 
enormously increased the power of the French. 
MuzafFar Jang paid to them no less than 1,000,000 
rupees in hard cash, one-half of which represented 
the repayment of sums advanced. The territorial 
acquisitions represented an income of nearly 400,000 
rupees annually. Then a proposal, one for which 
Dupleix had laid himself open and which he eagerly 
accepted, came from the Subahdar, the effect of which 
was to relieve the strain on the finances of Pondichery , 
and to give the French a practical preponderance in 
the counsels of the Subahdar at his capital. 

This proposal took the form of a request that a 
body of French troops commanded by a capable 
officer should accompany the Subahdar to his capital, 
to be paid from his treasury, and to be always at his 
disposal. Dupleix, recognising in this action a mode 
of retaining permanent influence at the Court of the 
Subahdar, at once acquiesced, and, De la Touche 
having been invalided to Europe, nominated Bussy 
for the post. The result showed that he could not 
have made a better selection. 

All arrangements having been made, Muzaffar 
Jang prepared to march to Aurangabad, which 
was at the time the favoured capital of the 
Subahdars. Bussy, commanding 300 Frenchmen 
and 1500 trained sipahis, was to accompany him. 
The Subdhdar set out on the 7th of January, 


1 75 1. Bussy started two days later, and joined him 
on the 15th. Before the Sub&hdar had left, Muham- 
mad All had made overtures for the surrender, under 
certain conditions, of Trichinopoli. These conditions 
had been accepted. Chanda Sahib remained thus 
apparently without rival or competitor. 

The policy of Dupleix had triumphed. He had 
made French influence, not only preponderant, but 
predominant, in Southern India. Yet, within a few 
weeks a little cloud appeared on the horizon, which 
was dissipated only by the decision and the cannon 
of Bussy. The Nuwabs who had rebelled against 
Nadir Jang soon began to intrigue against his 
successor. But their treason was discovered, and 
Muzaffar Jang, calling upon Bussy to follow him, 
charged the rebel chiefs with his cavalry. The latter 
held their ground until the French came up. Then, 
in a few minutes, the rebels broke up, one of their 
leaders lying dead on the field, another, the Nuwab 
of Cuddapah, grievously wounded. Him they at- 
tempted to carry off. But Muzaffar Jang, resolved 
that he should not escape, followed him. In the 
pursuit he came upon a third confederate, the Nuwab 
of Karnul. Between the two and their immediate 
followers a hand-to-hand contest ensued which 
terminated in the death of both, Muzaffar Jang 
being brained by a spear-thrust, and the Nuwab 
cut to pieces. 

The crisis was one which might have the gravest 
consequences for French interests. Had there been 


on the spot a pretender of ability and influence to 
take the place of the Subahdar and to declare himself 
his successor; or, had Dupleix been represented on 
the spot by any other than a man of first-rate capacity 
and decision, it was quite upon the cards that the result 
of the fighting and intrigues of the previous twelve 
months might have been lost in an hour. But Bussy 
was a man of first-rate capacity. He possessed a clear 
brain, and an intuitive power of managing the natives 
of India. To think on the moment, to decide on 
the moment, to act on the moment — these were his 
maxims. On this occasion he recognised on the 
instant that all was likely to be lost unless he should 
take the lead. He took it on the moment. I have 
stated that when, in June, 1748, Nizam -ul-Mulk, the 
Subahdar of the Deccan, died, he had left three 
younger sons in the harem. The names of these were 
Salabat Jang, Nizam All, and Basalat Jang. When 
Nadir Jang had taken possession of his father's 
territories, his first act had been to place these princes 
in confinement. They were still in confinement when 
Muzaffar Jang was killed. Bussy having decided to 
take the lead, the problem he had to solve was 
whether it was advisable in the interests of France to 
proclaim the infant son of Muzaffar Jang to be 
Subahdar or to bestow the masnad on the eldest of 
his uncles. Recognising at a glance that in India 
minorities always give incentives to intriguers, he 
decided on the latter course. Hastily assembling the 
principal nobles present, he unfolded to them his 


proposal and the reason for it, and obtained from 
them general consent. That same day Salabat Jang 
was released from confinement and proclaimed 
Subahdar of the Deccan. Again did Southern India 
witness a prompt transition from a prison to a throne. 

Thus, by a happy act of audacity and decision, did 
Bussy retain for Dupleix all the advantages which he 
had gained from his support of Muzaffar Jang. He 
gained for him and for France others not less precious. 
One of the first acts of the new Subahdar was to 
join to the French possessions at Masulipatam the 
territories depending on the towns of Nizampatnam, 
of Kondavir, of Alamnava, and of Narsapur, in its 
vicinity. He rebuilt for him the factories of Yanaon; 
and he presented to Dupleix the town of Mafuz 
Bandar (Chicacole), in the Ganjam district. A few 
days later the new Subahdar set his army in motion, 
traversed in triumph the territories of the rebel 
nobles, and finally entered Aurangabad, June 29. 
Here, in the presence of Bussy and the nobles of the 
province, Salabat Jang, in virtue of a farman received 
from Delhi, was solemnly invested with the dignities 
appertaining to the office of Subahdar of the Deccan. 
In him Dupleix possessed, to the last hour of his life, 
a true and admiring friend. 

By the means related in this chapter Dupleix had, 
in the early days of 1751, brought French India to 
the height of its glory and power. Through Bussy 
and the Subahdar his influence was supreme in the 
territories now known as the territories of the Nizam. 


It was soon to become supreme in the territories 
called by the English the ' Northern Sirkars,' com- 
prising Ganjam, Vizagapatam, Godavari, and Krishna. 
It was supreme in the territories subsequently known 
as the ' Ceded Districts/ comprising Cuddapah, 
Karnul, and Bellary. Through Chanda Sahib, it was 
equally supreme in the Karnatik, with the exception 
of Trichinopoli, held by Muhammad Ali, and of 
Tanjore, governed by its own prince. Excepted, too, 
must be Madras and Fort St. David, in which, 
however, at the moment, the English showed few 
signs of life. Apparently their influence had sunk to 
zero. For the moment, then, the astute ruler of 
Pondichery had triumphed all along the line. He 
could not detect the presence of the vestige of a cloud 
on the horizon. His one enemy, Muhammad Ali, had 
offered to come into his scheme. The English were 
inactive, and apparently hopeless of interfering w r ith 
his plans. What was there, then, which could 
possibly prevent the successful development of his 
far-reaching schemes ? He could detect nothing. The 
English equally could detect nothing. Yet, though 
they knew it not, there was brooding amid the silence 
of Fort St. David a man who did accomplish that 
apparently impossible feat. 


The English are roused to Action 

The pretender to the Karnatik, supported by the 
English, had, we have seen, fled almost unattended 
to Trichinopoli. Thence, hopeless of success, he had 
made overtures to Dupleix, agreeing to recognise 
Chanda Sahib as Nuwab, and to surrender to him 
Trichinopoli and its dependencies, on condition (i) 
that the treasures left by his father should be restored 
to him ; (2) that he should receive a subordinate pro- 
vince in lieu of the Karnatik. Dupleix had accepted 
these conditions, and had obtained from Muzaffar 
Jang a promise to carry them out. When, however, 
after the departure of Bussy and the Subahdar from 
Pondichery, Dupleix pressed Muhammad All to 
perform his part of the agreement, engaging to place 
him at once in the position in which he had cove- 
nanted to place him, Muhammad Ali first hesitated, 
then asked for fresh guarantees. Meanwhile, he was 
imploring the English to come to his aid. For four 
months he implored in vain ; but when, at the end of 
that period, he had wrung from them a promise of 
substantive assistance in the event of his being 
attacked, he boldly threw off the mask and informed 


Dupleix that he was resolved to maintain Trichinopoli 
against him at all costs. This message decided 
Dupleix. Kecognising the necessity of prompt action, 
he despatched, in the month of March (1751), D'Auteuil 
with 400 Frenchmen, a few Africans, and some guns, 
to accompany the force of Chan da Sahib, from 7000 
to 8000 strong, in its march to Trichinopoli, thence to 
expel Muhammad AH. 

But Mr. Saunders, who then directed English 
interests at Fort St. David, had been before-hand with 
him. Once resolved to succour Muhammad All, 
Saunders recognised the necessity of employing all his 
force for that purpose. Were Chanda Sahib to take 
that place, there would be no limit to the development 
of the gigantic plans of Dupleix. Whilst then he had 
despatched, early i& February, Captain Cope with 280 
Englishmen and 300 sipahis to assist Muhammad All 
within Trichinopoli, he prepared another body com- 
posed of 500 Englishmen, 100 Africans, and 1000 
sipahis, to be ready to act according as circumstances 
might require. When, then, D'Auteuil and Chanda 
Sahib quitted Pondichery in March, in the manner 
and for the purpose already stated, Saunders de- 
spatched the troops he had organised to follow and to 
watch their motions. The English force was com- 
manded by an officer of Swiss origin, named De 

The instructions given by Saunders to De Gingen 
were precise. He was to watch the movements of the 
enemy, but, recollecting the fact that France and 

G 2 


England were at peace, he was on no account to 
attack them until he should have been joined by the 
native levies of Muhammad All. When that junction 
should have been effected, the action of Muhammad 
Ali would cover, morally, the action of the English. 
This convenient fiction, practised by the French and 
English alike, permitted the representatives of two 
nations at peace in Europe to wage deadly and 
unremitting hostilities against each other in Southern 

I propose to relate here only those salient actions of 
the rival field-forces which are necessary to the com- 
prehension of the policy of Dupleix. It was at this 
period, and during the periods that followed, his 
misfortune to be badly served in the field. His best 
general was with the Subahdar at Aurangabad, and 
could not be spared from thence. D'Auteuil was 
gouty and infirm, and had once before failed in his 
hands. But he had advices from France that the 
young and brilliant De la Touche, who had already 
given proofs of more than ordinary capacity, would 
sail that autumn from France with 700 tried men, 
and he might be expected some time in 1752- Law 
of L&uriston, who had done well at the siege, and who 
had on its conclusion proceeded home to recruit, was 
due at any moment. Pending his arrival it was 
scarcely possible, he thought, that D'Auteuil should 
make a mistake, if he would only obey orders. 

But D'Auteuil did not obey orders. He had ac- 
companied Chanda Sahib but a few marches from 


Pondichery when he yielded to the solicitations of the 
Nuwab to turn aside from the road to Trichinopoli, 
and march into northern Arcot. The object of Chanda 
Sahib was to obtain money and troops. He succeeded 
in both objects ; but, oblivious of the cardinal fact that, 
in war, time is a main factor, he had succeeded at the 
cost of leaving Muhammad Ali and the English 
masters in the southern district, occupying various 
posts and becoming daily more capable of offering 
him a very solid resistance. 

At length, his own levies raised to 17,000 men, 
Chanda Sahib took the road to Trichinopoli, always 
accompanied by D'Auteuil. But the delay had 
been considerable, and it was not till the first 
week of July that he came in sight of Volkondaj a 
strongly fortified town thirty-eight miles to the 
north-north-east of Trichinopoli. In front of it, on 
the south-west face, apparently blockading it on that 
side, was the joint army of Muhammad Ali and De 

The English leader had been unable, in consequence 
of the non-arrival of the levies of Muhammad Ali, 
whose presence with him would alone legitimatise his 
action, to carry out the intentions of Mr. Saunders. 
When, at last, 1600 horsemen from Trichinopoli did 
reach him, led by the brother of Muhammad Ali, 
De Gingen moved forwards, captured the fortified 
pagoda of Vardachalam, and then marched on Vol- 
konda. He arrived before it on the 2nd of July and 
^atronce summoned it. But the Governor, who had not 

102 DUPLE1X 

quite made up his mind as to the cause he should 
espouse, learning that Chanda Sahib was approaching, 
declined every offer, however persuasive. Two days 
later, Chanda Sahib and D'Auteuil arrived. Towards 
them, likewise, the Governor showed himself equally 
inexorable. For a whole fortnight matters con- 
tinued in this position, the English lying encamped 
in a grove about a mile and a-half to the south-west 
of the town, the French four miles to the north of it, 
both parties bidding against each other with the 
Governor, each afraid to attempt force lest the display 
of it should induce the Governor to summon his rival 
to his aid. De Gingen was the first to lose his 
patience. On the 19th, he made all his preparations 
to storm the place ; marched on it at nightfall, gained 
the out- works, but failing in his main attack, deferred 
further proceedings till the morning. But his action 
had decided the Governor. Irritated by the attempt 
made to force his hand, and dreading the result of the 
renewed attack on the morrow, he despatched an 
invitation to D'Auteuil to enter the town. The French- 
man complied on the instant. When then, early the 
following morning, De Gingen led his men to the 
assault, he was received by a well-directed fire from 
behind the walls of the town, whilst another fire, 
scarcely less formidable, poured upon his flank from 
the guns of the allied enemies, who had remained in 
the open. His men, panic-stricken by the cross-fire, 
so utterly unexpected, turned tail and fled ; abandoning 
their native allies, and leaving one gun, several 


muskets, and their camp equipage in the hands of the 

Here was an opportunity ! Had Dupleix, like his 
great rival, been endowed with the supreme faculty of 
a great commander and been present; had Bussy 
been there, or De la Touche ; or had there been a man 
in command who possessed the ordinary instinct of 
the fighting soldier, the question of supremacy in 
Southern India would have been decided on that 20th 
of July. There was the English force, comprising, 
within 300, the entire troops at the disposal of the 
English Company, in full flight, having lost their guns, 
their camp equipage, their supplies, their retreat 
covered by a rabble of native cavalry, who would 
have dispersed at the first charge. Within a mile or 
two of them was the victorious French force, flushed 
with victory, at least equal in numbers, supported by 
17,000 native troops commanded by the Nuwab of 
the Karnatik in person. To settle the question of 
supremacy in Southern India it was requisite merely 
that the French commander should utter but one 
word — a word which inferior or timid commanders 
are always unwilling to utter — a word, nevertheless, 
which spoken when fighting against Asiatics has 
never been known to fail — the word { Forward.' Let 
the reader realise the huddled mass of 500 Englishmen, 
100 Africans, and 1000 sipahis, hurrying from the 
field under the July sun of Southern India, panic- 
stricken and helpless, having abandoned everything. 
For the moment they were cowed, unable to listen to 


reason. Their leader was not much better : they all 
expected to hear the sound of the enemy's guns 
thundering in their rear. Had they heard that sound, 
they could scarcely have escaped destruction. Then, 
the French, marching rapidly on Trichinopoli, would 
probably have secured that fortress without a blow, 
and have firmly established their domination over 
Southern India. 

Why did not D'Auteuil, who, an old soldier, must 
have known the great advantage to be ensured by 
pursuing a panic-stricken enemy, — why did not D'Au- 
teuil utter that one word ? The only answer that I 
can give is, that he was suffering at the moment from 
a severe attack of gout. It is a reason, but not an 
excuse, for his inaction. Excruciating as may have 
been his agony, he might have reasoned that Fortune 
is very jealous of her favours ; that she does not often 
vouchsafe them a second time to the man who may 
have declined them when opportunely offered. But — 
he did not reason : he preferred, at this crisis of the 
fortunes of France in India, to remain idle ; to permit 
the English to fall back towards that very Trichino- 
poli which it was his mission to secure, and which 
would thus be greatly strengthened by the addition 
to its garrison of the very men whom it had been in 
his power to destroy. Can we wonder that, a little 
later, it should be that very Trichinopoli which 
became the grave of the French ? 

But Fortune, pitying the condition of D'Auteuil, 
gave him a second chance. After a rest of twenty- 


four hours, the French commander felt himself well 
enough to follow, accompanied by Chanda Sahib, in 
the direction taken by the English. A march of some 
twenty miles brought him to Utatur. There he 
beheld the English and their allies encamped in a 
position not only assailable, but so badly chosen that 
it would have been easy, with the superior native 
forces at his disposal, to cut them off from Trichino- 
poli. But instead of seizing promptly the favours 
offered by the blind goddess, D'Auteuil was content to 
dally with her. He took up a position not very far 
from the English camp, and endeavoured to entice 
them from their position. He so far succeeded that 
on the second day he drew a detachment of them into 
an ambuscade, and inflicted upon them no small loss. 
Encouraged by this, he arranged with Chanda Sahib 
for an attack in force the day following. It was 
agreed between the two leaders that whilst Chanda 
Sahib should lead the attack with clouds of cavalry 
the French infantry should follow it up and make 
it decisive. Here was an opportunity which, with 
ordinary care, might have atoned for the sluggishness 
after the rout of Volkonda. But, by some fatality, 
either Chanda Sahib attacked too soon or the French 
came up too late, for the attack was repulsed. It had 
the effect, however, of convincing De Gingen that he 
could not with safety remain where he was. That 
night, therefore, he broke up his camp ; and, marching 
for twelve hours, did not halt until he had reached 
the banks of the river Kolrun, facing Trichinopoli. 


But, this time, D'Auteuil was on the alert. Six 
hours after De Gingen had quitted his position at 
Utatur, the French and their allies were on their track ; 
and, marching as rapidly, encamped within three 
miles of them at eight o'clock that evening. The 
position of the English was full of danger. The 
country had declared for Chancla Sahib, whose army 
was increasing every step, and here was De Gingen, 
encamped with dispirited troops, far fewer in number, 
on the northern bank of an unfordable river, within 
three miles of them. It was, moreover, still open to 
the enemy, by making a not very wide detour, to cut 
him off from the fortress. He resolved not to stay a 
single night in such a position. Risking an attack 
which, judging from the previous conduct of D'Auteuil, 
he felt confident would not be made, he collected boats, 
and before the next day had dawned, had crossed to 
Srirangam, a large island, fourteen miles by two, 
formed by the division of the Kolrun and the Kaveri 
into two branches about eleven miles west of Trichi- 
nopoli. He did not consider himself safe even here, 
for, noting the preparations made by the French to 
follow him, he, on the night of the second day, crossed 
the Kaveri and encamped under the walls of the 
fortress. D'Auteuil at once took possession of the 
island and attempted thence to bombard the fortress. 
But the distance, a fraction over two miles and a half, 
was too great. D'Auteuil then crossed the Kaveri, 
and took post in front of the rock known as the 
French Rock, a mile and three-quarters to the east of 


the Fort Eock. He was there making preparations, 
the success of which he did not doubt, for the English 
were in the last stage of discouragement, when 
Dupleix, responding to his repeated requests, sent 
Law of Lauriston to relieve him. Law, whose conduct 
at the siege of Pondichery had attracted favourable 
attention, had but just returned from France, full of 
health and vigour. He was untried as a commander 
in the field, but his splendid conduct in a subordinate 
position had impressed the public with the belief that 
he would acquit himself well when he should hold the 
responsibility of command. Alas ! It was the case of 
Berthier. The two positions require the possession 
of qualities widely differing. The general must be 
cool, careless of responsibility, ready to think and act 
on the moment. The subordinate need only be brave, 
prompt to execute the designs of another, intelligent 
enough to comprehend the drift of the orders he may 
receive. Law, excellently qualified to fill the second 
post, was of all the men who served Dupleix the most 
unfit for the first. He was hesitating, weak of pur- 
pose, vacillating, and fearful of responsibility. His 
first act on assuming command was to turn the siege 
into a blockade. Commanding, as he did, all the 
approaches to Trichinopoli from the Coromandel coast 
he believed it would be easier to starve out his enemy 
than to expel him. 

Under ordinary circumstances his reasoning might 
have been sound. But in war a commander is bound 
to take into account the workings of time. Law had 


deliberately chosen the method which would require 
a period extending over months, and it was always 
possible that during those months events might occur 
to disturb his calculations. So it happened on this 
occasion. There had accompanied the English force 
to Volkonda, in the capacity of Commissary, a young 
writer of the English Company who had already, as a 
volunteer, given some proofs of conduct. This writer 
had been greatly disgusted with the leadership of De 
Gingen on the occasion of his attack on Volkonda. 
He had his own ideas as to the way war should be 
conducted. Regarding failure as certain, if the system 
then followed should be persevered with, he had quitted 
the force before it reached the Kolrun, and proceeded 
to Fort St. David to lay his plans before Mr. Saunders. 
The name of this officer was Robert Clive. 

Robert Clive 

Robert Clive was a young Englishman of the 
middle class who, born in 1725, and regarded by his 
relatives on his attaining manhood as utterly un- 
traceable, had been shipped off to Madras, in 1743, 
as a writer in the service of the East India Company. 
At Madras he had earned the character of being- 
sullen, unsociable, and haughty; had on one occasion 
behaved with such marked insolence towards his 
superiors that he was compelled to apologise, and on 
another had attempted his own life. Prior to the 
attack on Madras by La Bourdonnais he would seem 
to have attached to himself but one friend. That 
friend was the Governor, Mr. Morse. Clive was aware 
that he had neglected his education in early life. 
Under the auspices of Governor Morse, he endeavoured 
to supply the deficiency by availing himself of the 
well-stored library which that gentleman was glad to 
place at his disposal. 

When Madras surrendered to the French, Clive had 
fled in disguise to Fort St. David. When subsequently 
Boscawen laid siege to Pondichery he served as a 
volunteer with the besieging force, and, to use the 


words of a contemporary writer, ' by his gallant con- 
duct gave the first prognostic of that high military 
spirit which was the spring of his future actions 1 / 
Subsequently, he accompanied Major Stringer Law- 
rence, also as a volunteer, in the attack on Devikota, 
1749, and there, in the leading of the storming party, 
distinguished himself by his coolness and intrepidity. 
Referring subsequently to this period of his career, 
Major Lawrence, himself a man of remarkable ability 
and a distinguished soldier, thus wrote of his subor- 
dinate : ' A man of an undaunted resolution, of a cool 
temper, and a presence of mind which never left him 
in the greatest danger. Born a soldier, for, without 
a military education of any sort, or much conversing 
with any of the profession, from his judgment and 
good sense he led an army like an experienced officer, 
with a prudence that certainly warranted success. 
This young man's early genius surprised and engaged 
my attention, as well before as at the siege of Devi- 
kota, where he behaved in courage and judgment 
much beyond what could have been expected from 
his years, and his success afterwards confirmed what I 
had said to many people concerning him.' 

For his conduct at Devikota Clive was transferred 
to the military service of the Company, and nominated 
Commissary to the Army. Very shortly after this 
nomination the break-down of his health compelled 

1 Journal of the Siege of Pondichery, republished in the Asiatic Annual 
Register for 1802. It is from this journal that Mr. Orme obtained 
his materials for that portion of his history. 


him to take a sea-trip to the Hugli. On his return, 
in the cold season of 175 1, he was directed to accom- 
pany as Commissary the force which was despatched 
under De Gingen to watch the action of Chanda Sahib 
and the French, and the adventures of which I have 
told in the last chapter. 

As Commissary of De Gingen's force, Clive had no 
influence in the direction of its operations. But that 
he highly disapproved of his superior's action is clear 
from the fact that he quitted the force to lay before 
the Governor of Fort St. David his reasons for the 
adoption of an entirely different system. 

The Governor of Fort St. David, a fit associate of 
Stringer Lawrence, listened sympathisingly to the 
plan suggested by Clive. His fame has been over- 
shadowed by the greater glory attaching to the name 
of the young counsellor who was explaining to him in 
the autumn of 175 1 the plans which, properly carried 
out, would baffle all the hopes of Dupleix, but he was 
nevertheless a^ first-rate representative of that middle- 
class which won India for the Crown. A weaker 
man would have hesitated. My memory can recall 
hundreds of those I have met who would have abso- 
lutely refused to act on the suggestions of the young- 
Commissary , for the situation was bristling with 
difficulties. Saunders had neither officers nor men at 
Fort St. David. His principal force was shut up in 
Trichinopoli, closely invested by an enemy superior in 
force, and subjected, or likely to be subjected, to all 
the horrors of famine. It was a positive necessity, 

1 1 2 DUPLE IX 

then, that any troops which might arrive from 
England should be utilised for the despatch to the 
beleaguered fortress of the urgently required stores. 
Just at the moment a handful of troops arrived. 
These, 80 in number, accompanied by 300 sipahis, 
Saunders despatched, in charge of stores, to Trichi- 
nopoli. A second small detachment was despatched 
under Captain Clarke, Clive accompanying him, to 
the same fortress. Both detachments succeeded in 
eluding the vigilance of the French and in joining 
their comrades. His visit to Trichinopoli only con- 
firmed the ideas which had germinated in the mind of 
Clive. He found the garrison in the last stage of 
despondency, hopeless of relief, ready to surrender. 
He, a civilian just appointed officer, for he had been 
nominated Captain before quitting Fort St. David, 
had less than no influence with the commanders. 
There was nothing but contempt for the civilian who 
presumed to lecture soldiers on tactics. He returned, 
then, after the stay of a few days, to Fort St. David, 
to press more strongly than ever on Mr. Saunders the 
one plan which could save the English. 

Saunders had already admitted the supreme force 
of the arguments of his young counsellor. At the 
time of Clive's previous visit he did not possess the 
necessary materials to act on them. But on the 
second, Clive found, to his delight, a garrison which, 
united to that at Madras, raised the number of troops, 
all told, to the total of 350. Some of these Saunders 
must retain for garrison purposes. Could he, himself 


a civilian, entrust the remainder to the charge of a young 
man, untrained in war, for the purpose of invading 
a province containing 1,500,000 inhabitants ? It was to 
take upon his shoulders an enormous responsibility. 
To the lasting honour of Saunders, to the lasting ad- 
vantage of his country, he did not shrink from that 
responsibility. By his orders, then, Clive set out 
from Madras, the 26th of August, 1751, with a force 
of 200 Englishmen, 300 sipahis, and three small guns, 
to invade the province of North Arcot. 

It would be foreign to the design of this book to 
relate the details of the wonderful march of Clive. It 
must suffice to state that he executed to the letter the 
plans which had suggested themselves to his daring 
mind. He captured Arcot, the capital of the Karnatik, 
and held it for fifty days against an army enormously 
out-numbering his own scanty levies alike in Euro- 
peans and natives. Not content with that, no sooner 
had he recognised that the siege had been raised, than 
he sallied forth in pursuit of the whilom besiegers, 
found them at Ami, attacked, and completely defeated 
fchem. Thence, having struck a blow which was felt 
throughout Southern India, he returned by way of 
Madras to Fort St. David, to concert further measures 
with Mr. Saunders. 

Of all those who had felt the blow struck by the 
young Englishman, no one had realised its force 
so keenly as Dupleix. But it was the glory of that 
illustrious man that difficulties only incited him to 
prompt and energetic action. Reading, as clearly as 



Clivo himself, the full purport of the young English- 
man's diversion, he had joined 100 Frenchmen to 
the force detached by Chandd Sahib to retake Arcot. 
At the same time he sent every available Frenchman, 
down to the last recruit, and all his trained sipahis, to 
strengthen Law before Trichinopoli. His hope was 
that whilst the force sent to Arcot should keep Clive 
and his following shut up, unable to aid the garrison, 
Law, pressing Trichinopoli hard, should force its 
surrender. With his force increased to 900 French- 
men and 2000 trained sipahis, with the army of the 
Nuwab increased to 30,000 men, this was no impossible 
task for a resolute soldier. But Law, whilst he made a 
great show of activity, would not depart from the line 
he had laid down of a strict blockade. Bold in council, 
he was timid, suspicious, unenterprising himself, and 
checking enterprise in others in the field. Meanwhile, 
the arrival of troops from Mysore to the assistance of 
Muhammad Ali gave confidence to the garrison, and a 
few small outpost successes which followed so far 
raised their spirits that there was a talk of combining 
a general attack on the French. De Gingen, however, 
contented himself with despatching a party under 
Cope to storm the little post of Krishna varam, about 
thirty miles from Trichinopoli, but recently occupied 
by the French and their allies. But in this attempt 
the English and their native allies were repulsed, and 
Captain Cope, who commanded the party, was mor- 
tally wounded. 

Again, then, did matters look well for Law. Could 


he only have made up his mind to risk a little, his 
superiority in numbers could scarcely have failed to 
prevail. Kecognising this, Dupleix sent him, first 
entreaties, then commands. He told him that oppor- 
tunities in war are rarely twice offered ; that to strike 
whilst the enemy was reeling under his repulse from 
Krishnavaram was the true policy, the only policy. 
After much unnecessary hesitation, Law agreed, or 
seemed to agree ; drew in his outposts, and made as 
though he would attack. But the responsibility was 
too great for his weak moral nature. At the critical 
moment he held back. Nor, when he received a de- 
spatch from Pondichery telling him that, to ensure him 
against molestation from Clive whilst he should be 
assailing Trichinopoli, Dupleix was threatening North 
Arcot and Madras, was he to be roused from his 

The information furnished by Dupleix to Law was 
true. That great man, whose vision from the central 
point he occupied never deceived him, who ever recog- 
nised with the most perfect accuracy the thing which 
ought to be done, though he rarely possessed the men 
who would do it, had despatched 400 Frenchmen to 
strengthen the levies of Chanda Sahib in Arcot, and 
the combined forces were at the moment eating up the 
country in the vicinity of Madras. To watch them, 
Clive, who had hoped to be sent to relieve Trichinopoli, 
was despatched with a few troops to Madras. Two 
days after his arrival there, reinforcements from 
Bengal landed. Having now at his disposal 38c 

H 2 


Englishmen and 1300 trained sipdhis, he set out, 
February 22/1752, to find his enemy. The latter, 
more numerous, for they counted 400 Frenchmen and 
4000 natives, of whom 2500 were horsemen, had 
quitted the vicinity of Madras as soon as they had 
heard of Olive's arrival there, and had marched towards 
the fort of Arcot in the hope of surprising it. Failing 
in that attempt, they had doubled back, confident that 
Clive would soon be on their track, and, in the hope 
of enticing him into an ambuscade, had taken post at 
Kaveripak, in a strong position, which Clive must 
traverse on his road to Arcot, and which he, with his 
impetuous nature, would, they calculated, reach after 
night had fallen. Their calculations had been made 
with the greatest accuracy. Clive fell into the trap ; 
reached the position just as darkness was setting in, 
was completely surprised, was almost beaten ; when, 
with the coolness and daring which characterised him, 
he took advantage of the darkness to attempt the 
strongest point of the hostile position, which, he 
thought, might have been left unguarded ; succeeded, 
and changed a defeat into one of the most decisive 
victories ever achieved. The victory of Kaveripak 
changed the position in Southern India. It cleared 
North Arcot of enemies, and enabled Clive to return 
to Fort St. David to take part, under Stringer Law- 
rence, in an expedition which was not only to relieve 
Trichinopoli, but to render that fortress and the 
country around it the grave of the soaring aspirations 
of Dupleix. 


Truly had that prescient man foreseen the result of 
the timid action of Law. By his action in North 
Arcot, action which a mere accident, as he had the 
right to consider it, had caused to fail, he had procured 
for his general before Trichinopoli the time to make 
an assault which should be decisive. He could plead, 
he could implore, he could order, but he could not 
make Law fight. Not that Law was a coward. He 
had displayed his courage on many a field. It was 
the weight, the terrible weight, of moral responsibility 
which paralysed him. No man can be pronounced 
competent in action till he has been tried by that 
test. Under it, the Law who had been so brilliant 
when serving under another, w T as more useless than a 
child. To Dupleix, the weakness of his lieutenant 
caused a slow agony such as would have caused a man 
less buoyant to despair. What could he do with a 
man who had remained quiet whilst Kaveripak was 
being fought, and who now, with Trichinopoli in front 
of him, was to be assailed by a fresh force led by the 
two most capable commanders the English possessed? 
He could not replace Law, for he had no one at 
his~disposal. Bussy was at Aurangabad, D'Auteuil 
was still suffering, De la Touche was on the seas. 
There was, however, some hope of success if Law 
would but act. He occupied a central position, com- 
manded the road from the coast; was well served 
by his native allies, and was still numerically 
stronger. If Law would but utilise these advantages, 
he might yet atone for the time wasted. Dupleix 


sent him then the most minute instructions, detailing 
the strength of the English force, the road it 
would take, the date of its departure, the fact that 
its movements would be encumbered by the neces- 
sity of escorting a large convoy, and then unfolded 
his plan. * Leave,' he wrote, ' but a screen of troops 
before Trichinopoli ; mass the remainder, and, march- 
ing eastwards, fall on the English relieving force 
with your superior numbers, and destroy it; then 
return, and make your decisive assault on the 
place.' To help him in this operation, which, in 
capable hands, had been perfectly feasible, he de- 
spatched from Pondichery every available Frenchman 
south of the Krishtna. 

In the despatch of Dupleix to Law there shone the 
prescience of the statesman and the penetration of the 
real soldier. But the best plans, entrusted to in- 
capable hands, will fail. So it was on this occasion. 
Instead of leaving only a screen before Trichinopoli, 
and marching with the bulk of his troops to crush 
Lawrence, Law kept the bulk of his men before the 
fortress, and sent the screen to accomplish that which 
the combined force would have found the toughest 
job on which they had ever been engaged. He 
failed, and he deserved to fail. Nor when, a day or 
two later, he ranged his troops in position and 
attacked Lawrence, was he more successful. The 
time, the position, the opportunity, were alike ill- 
chosen. The action was ill-fought, and the French 
had to fall back, disconcerted, on their Eock, whilst 


Lawrence and his victorious men marched gaily into 
the fortress. 

The reader who has studied the character of 
Dupleix, who has recognised the passionate desire by 
which he was animated to found an empire for France 
in Southern India, who has noted how, by every 
means except by that of actual presence in the field, 
he had laboured for that end, can picture to himself 
the anger and mortification of that great man when 
he realised that the inefficiency of Law had caused 
the failure of all his hopes. When he had recom- 
mended daring, Law had displayed an excess of 
caution. When he had shown Law how, by massing 
his strongest array against the enemy's weakest 
point, he could baffle that enemy, he had despatched 
his weakest array against the enemy's strongest 
point. This ineptitude had shattered for the moment 
all his plans. But it was a part of the nature 
of Dupleix never to despair so long as one hope 
remained. Glancing then at his position, he re- 
cognised that he was still strong with the Subahdar 
of the Deccan. Bussy guided the councils of that 
prince. Nor, though Lawrence and Clive had relieved 
Trichinopoli, was it certain that they could do more 
than save that fortress. In numbers, the French and 
their allies still prevailed even there. The one thing 
he wanted was a man. It was clear to him that it 
would be a crime to trust Law any longer. But he 
had only D'Auteuil, just recovered from his attack of 
gout. He had had, he knew, reason to complain on 

120 DUPLE1X 

a previous occasion of the slowness and caution of 
D'Auteuil, but he was neither so slow nor so cautious 
as Law had proved. Dupleix was yet deliberating as 
to the action he should take, when he received a de- 
spatch from Law which threw him into consternation. 
Law wrote that, despairing of success against Tri- 
chinopoli, he had resolved to retreat into the island 
of Srirangam. The idea of the timid Law in an 
island liable to be attacked from both banks of the 
river overwhelmed Dupleix. He recognised that in 
the presence of men like Lawrence and Clive he would 
be as a rat in a trap. He could bear anything but that. 
He sent then on the instant a peremptory order to 
Law to retreat^ if he must retreat, not into Srirangam, 
but on Pondichery. To aid him, he used every effort 
to raise a force to second his efforts. By incredible 
exertion he collected 120 Europeans, and, adding to 
these 500 sipahis and four field-pieces, he despatched 
them under D'Auteuil to take the road to Tri- 
chinopoli, effect a junction with Law, assume the 
command, and fall back on Pondichery. 

But he had not yet realised the full measure of the 
incapacity of his lieutenant. The position occupied 
by Law before Trichinopoli was so strong, resting as 
it did upon two points which could not be turned, 
that even Lawrence and Clive regarded a direct 
attack upon it as hazardous. They thought, how- 
ever, they might create an alarm which might 
have consequences, if they were to beat up the 
quarters of the native ally of the French, Chanda 


Sahib. They despatched Captain Dalton on this 
errand. Dalton, misled by a guide, found himself in 
the early hours of the morning some two miles 
distant from Chanda Sahib's post, and in front of the 
very strongest part of Law's position. This was 
an opportunity which any other commander but Law 
would have seized. He had recognised Dalton's 
danger, and he had him in his power. But the 
danger of his own situation had mastered his mental 
faculties. He allowed Dalton to fall back unmolested ; 
then, against the positive orders of Dupleix, against 
the entreaties of Chanda Sahib, despite the re- 
monstrances of all his commanders, he retreated into 
the island of Srirangam, abandoning or destroying a 
great part of the provisions accumulated for the use 
of his European troops. 

Then followed a series of catastrophes, the con- 
sequences of this false move. A letter from D'Auteuil, 
intimating his movements, fell into the hands of the 
English, and Lawrence despatched Clive to intercept 
D'Auteuil, as he should approach the western bank of 
the Kolrun. But Chanda* Sahib, well served by 
spies, communicated to Law the movement of Clive, 
and pointed out to him the possibility of crushing 
that leader whilst he was endeavouring to crush 
D'Auteuil. v The manoeuvre could scarcely fail, if it 
were executed in sufficient force, and with sufficient 
intelligence. Law did recognise in this plan a certain 
chance of extricating himself from all his troubles. 
The river Kaveri and its branches would prevent the 


possibility of any assistance reaching Clive. He 
might move out with his entire force. No enemy 
would attempt Srirangam. But again his caution 
spoilt a plan, the success of which was assured. 
Instead of marching with his whole force to crush 
Clive, he despatched only 80 Europeans, of whom 40 
were English deserters, and 700 sipahis. Even this 
small detachment went very near to success. It 
surprised Clive whilst he was asleep at Simiaveram, 
and, but for the extraordinary coolness, audacity, and 
presence of mind displayed by that great soldier, 
must have captured or killed him. But the value of 
one man never asserted itself more convincingly than 
on the night of that memorable surprise. After braving 
death in every form Clive emerged from it the victor, 
and the despondency of Law became greater than 

Nor was D'Auteuil more successful. Escorting sup- 
plies of ammunition and food, he had reached the 
Utatur, spoken of in a previous chapter. Dalton, with 
a force about equal in numbers, had been sent to 
watch him. As he approached Utatur, Dalton, who 
was as daring as his enemy was timid, so arranged 
his troops as to induce the belief that the whole 
British force was advancing. D'Auteuil fell into the 
trap, and retreated on Volkonda without striking a 
blow, leaving to Dalton the stores and ammunition he 
had escorted. 

Soon after this event, the final catastrophe followed. 
After all his losses, Law could still dispose of 800 


Frenchmen, 2000 trained sipahis, and 3000 or 4000 
horsemen who still remained faithful to Chanda 
Sahib. With these he could, without much risk, have 
fought his way to the coast. But the spirit of the 
man was utterly broken. Whilst those about him 
were talking of fighting, he was dreaming of sur- 
render. On the 13th of June he carried out this 
dream, after having vainly stipulated for the life of 
his ally. The result was that Chanda Sahib was 
stabbed to the heart, and that 35 French officers, 785 
soldiers, and 2000 trained sipahis, surrendered them- 
selves as prisoners. 

It is time now to note how Dupleix received the 
news of this terrible calamity, and what steps he took 
to minimise its effects. 


A Great Man Wrestling with Fortune 

In the preceding chapter, writing of the attempt 
made to surprise Clive at Samiaveram, I have used 
these words : ' The value of one man never asserted 
itself more convincingly than on the night of that 
memorable surprise.' Mutatis mutandis, the same 
words might be applied to the conduct of Dupleix 
when he learned of the shameful surrender of his 
whole European force, save the detachments under 
Bussy and D'Auteuil, to Major Lawrence at Sriran- 

The blow was undeniably a very severe blow. It 
left the English triumphant ; their ally, Muhammad 
Ali, master of the Karnatik ; the prestige — that word 
of enormous importance in India — of the French 
lowered. But, with the clear-headedness habitual 
with him, Dupleix, far from despairing, took stock 
of his actual position. He recognised fully the ex- 
tent of the catastrophe consummated at Srirangam ; 
and that south of the river Krishtna he could dis- 
pose only of the troops under D'Auteuil, insufficient 
even for garrison purposes. Yet, he had still the 
Subahdar of the Deccan at his back. The unbeaten 


BuBsy was at Aurangabad, holding secure the pre- 
dominating influence of Pondichery. He held Gingi, 
then considered the strongest fortress in the Karnatik. 
and the possessions on the coast secured to France 
by the Subahdar. On the other hand, whilst the total 
force at his disposal was, as I have said, insufficient 
to supply garrisons to guard these posts, he had in 
front of him a triumphant enemy, with numerous 
native allies, commanded by a Lawrence and a Clive. 
That enemy had it in his power to effect enormous 
mischief to French interests. It could even destroy 
that influence. What was he to do ? 

It was in this conjuncture that the profound know- 
ledge which Dupleix had acquired of the native cha- 
racter stood him in good stead. He knew, from 
previous observation, that for a number of native 
chiefs allied to effect a specific purpose the day of 
triumph was the day of trial. Now, to assist in 
crushing Chanda Sahib, Muhammed Ali had called 
in the levies of Tanjore, of Mysore, and the Marathas. 
To work upon the most powerful of these, to sow 
jealousy between them, to plant distrust of Muham- 
mad Ali, all unable as he would be to fulfil, with an 
empty exchequer, the lavish promises made in the 
hour of need, became then the main occupation of the 
French Governor. No one better than he could ac- 
complish a task beset indeed with difficulties, yet 
promising to a man experienced in the native modes 
of thought the most brilliant advantage. 

He did not work in vain. When the first triumph 


of his victory had evaporated, Muhammad Ali found 
that the only fruit of his victory was the death of 
his rival. The troops of Tanjore clamoured to be 
permitted to return to their homes. The Marathas 
refused to serve with the troops of Mysore, and the 
latter declined to be instrumental in pushing further 
the interests of Muhammad Ali. The disputes be- 
came so hot that both the contingents last-named 
drew off in a huff, making hostile demonstrations 
against the English. The discords had meanwhile 
prevented action, and it was not till the 9th of July 
that Muhammad Ali and the English were able to 
quit Trichinopoli. Even then, they were forced to 
leave in that fortress a garrison of 200 Englishmen 
and 1500 trained sipahis to protect it against their 
former allies. 

The delay thus caused had been eminently service- 
able to Dupleix. During that month the first portion 
of the annual drafts from France had arrived. They 
were few in number, and a very ragged lot, but by 
replacing the sailors of the vessels by lascars, and en- 
listing the former, Dupleix was able to dispose of 
500 additional men. In another way Fortune came 
to help him. Major Lawrence and Clive had both 
been forced by ill-health to proceed to Madras, and 
the command of the English was left to the not very 
capable De Gingen. The force was occupying Tiru- 
vadi, a place they had taken from the French, when, 
contrary to the advice of Lawrence, the English 
Governor, Saunders, transmitted to De Gingen orders 


to attack the strong fortress of Gingi. That officer 
promptly despatched 200 English, 500 trained sipahis, 
and 600 of Muhammad All's cavalry on this expe- 

This was the opportunity for which Dupleix had 
been longing. He seized it with the avidity of a 
great commander. Despatching orders to the com- 
mandant of Gingi to hold himself on the alert, he 
directed his nephew, Do Kerjean, to march with 300 
of the new levies and 500 sipahis to occupy a position 
which, whilst the English were before Gingi, would 
sever their communications with the coast. 

The manoeuvre met with the success it deserved. 
Gingi was a very strong place, and when the English 
commander, Kinneer, arrived in front of it, he recog- 
nised that the task set to him was, for him at least, 
impossible. Just then information reached him that 
a French force had occupied a position in his rear 
which completely cut him off* from his supplies and 
the coast. Kinneer turned to attack this force, but 
was beaten with the loss of forty of his Englishmen, 
and with difficulty made his way back to Tiruvadi. 
About the same time, a French ship captured a vessel 
having on board a company of Swiss mercenaries on 
their way to reinforce the English. 

Thus, within two months from the surrender of 
Law, Dupleix had by his energy, his intrigues, and 
his daring done much to obliterate the English 
triumph at Trichinopoli and to neutralise its effects. 
His action in this crisis alone would stamp him as a 


most eminent servant of his country. The position he 
held was one exactly suited to the talents with which 
he had been gifted. When the hopes of France were at 
their lowest he had organised victory out of the 
crudest materials, and, in an incredibly brief period, 
had managed to re-clothe the French name with the 
prestige which the feebleness of Law had done so 
much to diminish. 

Proofs of this followed upon De Kerjean's successful 
campaign. He received from the Subahdar his formal 
appointment as Nuwab of the Karnatik; from the 
Mysore troops and the Marathas, so recently leagued 
against him, promises of active co-operation if he 
would but leave them free to prosecute their views on 
Trichinopoli. From his sovereign, Louis XV, Du- 
pleix received at this time the patent of the title of 

All at once it seemed as though the positions of 
the French and English, so marked at the time of the 
surrender of Law, had been suddenly reversed. Whilst 
Dupleix encouraged his native allies to besiege Tri- 
chinopoli, he considered himself strong enough to 
detach a force to blockade Fort St. David. That 
force, commanded by De Kerjean, consisted of 400 
Frenchmen, 1500 sipahis, and 500 horsemen. But 
this was too much for the lion-hearted Stringer Law- 
rence. Housing himself from his bed of sickness, he 
came from Madras to Fort St. David, and, with 
troops equal in number to those of his adversary, 
forced De Kerjean to fall back to within three miles of 


Pondichery. There he dared not attack him. as the 
territory was French, and as such was secured against 
attack by treaty. The French were equally bound 
to inaction by the fact that Dupleix was momentarily 
expecting the arrival of 700 trained troops under the 
young and brilliant De la Touche, an arrival which 
would seemingly place all the possibilities within his 
grasp. Lawrence knew this, and anxious to strike a 
blow before the fresh troops should arrive, yet de- 
barred from attacking De Kerjean where he was, used 
all his efforts to entice his enemy beyond the border- 
line. With this object he fell back to a place called 
Bahur, two miles from Fort St. David. De Kerjean, 
young, ambitious, knowing that any day he might be 
superseded by De la Touche, followed up his retreat- 
ing foe, and on the morning of September 6 attacked 
him. The action was the most fiercely contested of 
the whole war. The Europeans on both sides fought 
splendidly. The result was decided by the falling 
back at a critical moment of the French sipahis, 
stationed in the centre of the line. Lawrence pushed 
on and achieved a complete victory. The English lost 
eighty-three officers and men killed and wounded. On 
the French side, De Kerjean himself, fifteen officers, 
and about 100 men were taken prisoners. Their 
loss in killed and wounded was never ascertained 1 . 

1 Lawrence, and, following Lawrence, Orme, state that, when 
prisoner, De Kerjean declared that he was forced into action by the 
repeated orders of Dupleix. There is no proof of this beyond the word 
of a man anxious to justify himself at the expense of another. On 



This was a blow, and what was worse, a blow 
which a little prudence would have avoided. Its 
effects were quickly visible in the cooling of the 
new-born enthusiasm of the Maratha and Mysore 
troops. The coolness was not, however, proof against 
the methods of Dupleix. When the leaders of those 
troops noted that Lawrence remained inactive after 
his victory, and took no steps to improve it, they, 
after a momentary hesitation, openly declared for the 

Dupleix gained, too, another advantage at this 
period by the compulsory departure of Clive for 
Europe. That brilliant chief, after recovering from 
the fever which had taken him to Madras, had won 
back for Muhammad All nearly the whole of 
North Arcot, had routed a force sent by Dupleix to 
relieve Covelong, had taken that place and Chengalpat, 
the strongest fortress after Gingi in Southern India, 
and had then proceeded to England. Lawrence, 
however, still remained, and Lawrence was very 
decidedly a man to be feared. 

Still, if De la Touche and his 700 men would but 
arrive, there was hope that even Lawrence might be 
foiled. De la Touche had never been beaten : he 
had displayed all the qualities which entitle a man 
to command his fellows — he had no fear of responsi- 
bility, was active, daring, and intelligent. From 
him much was to be hoped. The despair, the agony 

the other hand, there is reason to believe that Dupleix was anxious 
to avoid an action until De la Touche should arrive. 


of Dupleix may be imagined, when, instead of De la 
Touche and his men, information reached him that 
the ship which was conveying them to India, the 
Prince, had been destroyed by fire with all on 

This was indeed a blow sufficient to daunt the 
boldest. During the second half of 1752 Dupleix 
had improvised resources to make head against the 
preponderance which the surrender of Law had given 
to his enemies. He had done this confident that 
the succeeding year would witness the transference 
of the preponderance to himself. In that hope he 
had laboured to detach from the English the most 
powerful of their native allies, had made soldiers 
of the crews of the merchant vessels, had drawn 
largely upon his own private financial resources ; and, 
but for the precipitancy of De Kerjean, would have 
almost neutralised the effects of the surrender of 
Srirangam. When the 700 troops under De la Touche 
should join the 360 still at Pondichery, he would be 
able to range against the enemy upwards of 1000 men, 
commanded by a man from whom he was justified 
in expecting great results. And now, by an accident 
which he could neither have foreseen nor prevented, 
he was deprived of these succours which would have 
given him that superiority. He was to meet the new 
year with but 360 European troops, whilst the English 
could put 700 into the field. He was to meet it still 
without a general, whilst the English had Stringer 
Lawrence. He was to meet it knowing that he was 

1 2 


left by his country to his own resources ; that from 
it no assistance was to be expected. For a man with 
the soaring aspirations of Dupleix, no position could 
have seemed more hopeless. But it was the sur- 
passing merit of Dupleix that in the darkest hour 
he never despaired. Confident in his own energies, 
in his greater knowledge of the races of Southern 
India, believing that with but a little aid from Fortune 
his genius must compensate for the superiority of his 
enemy in European troops, he prepared himself for 
the struggle of the new year with an alacrity and 
a resolution which to this day compels the admiration 
even of those who rejoice over his failure. 


Too Heavily Handicapped 

Nothing appeals so much to human sympathy as 
the sight of a great man struggling with adverse 
Fortune. To see him with a bold and unshaken front 
defying her frowns, rising superior to disaster, im- 
provising resources ; seizing every advantage, improv- 
ing it to such a degree that even his enemies come to 
regard his personality alone as the foe to be feared — 
that is a sight which few can regard unmoved. Such 
a display was given to the world in 1814 by the 
greatest warrior of modern times, when he, at bay 
against combined Europe, almost succeeded in com- 
pelling Fortune. The story of that wonderful cam- 
paign has provoked sympathy and admiration from 
nationalities who hated the man. There was a 
marked resemblance in feature and in genius between 
Napoleon and Dupleix. Each was animated by 
unbounded ambition, each played for a great stake ; 
each displayed, in the final struggle, a power and 
a vitality, a richness of resource and a genius such 
as compelled fear and admiration: both, alas, were 
finally abandoned by their countrymen. But their 
names still remain, and will ever remain, to posterity 
as examples of the enormous value, in a struggle with 


adversity, of a dominant mind directed by a resolute 

Reduced by the accident to the Prince to a position 
which any ordinary man would have regarded as 
one essentially defensive, Dupleix, feeling about him, 
set to work to ascertain the mode in which he could 
best neutralise the enemy's superiority in European 
soldiers. No more difficult problem could have pre- 
sented itself to him. Since the victory of Paradis on 
the Adyar, Europeans had been regarded as the 
kernel of an army in India. Their superiority, 
maintained to the present day, was admitted in all 
the territories south of the Vindhyan Range. Bussy, 
with a handful of men, was maintaining that superiority 
at the Court of the Subahdar. Thanks to the same 
superiority, the English, at the beginning of 1753, 
held a marked predominance in the Karnatik. TJut 
it might, Dupleix thought, by judicious management 
be so far neutralised as to procure for him a striking 
advantage on the decisive point. To this end he 
applied all his efforts. 

Negotiating skilfully, he soon ascertained that he 
could dispose of the 2000 trained sipahis and the 
4000 Maratha horse, commanded by a Maratha chief of 
great ability as a leader, named Morari Rao. As 
Muhammad Ali could muster but 1500 horsemen, 
and those inferior in all respects to the Marathas, 
Dupleix, by this alliance, was able to possess a 
marked advantage in cavalry. The Regent of Mysore, 
too, displayed a readiness not only to furnish troops 


to aid the French, but to command them in person. 
Under the circumstances, then, Dupleix hoped that, 
judiciously employing the resources thus available to 
him, he might so plan his campaign that his superiority 
in cavalry and in native troops generally might atone 
for and neutralise the great superiority of his enemy 
in Europeans. With this end in view, he resolved, 
in consultation with his allies, that whilst the Mysore 
troops should invest Trichinopoli, the French troops 
and Morari Rao should act as in a certain sense a 
covering army to baffle all the attempts which 
Lawrence might make to relieve the beleaguered 
place. They would, in a word, keep Lawrence 
employed. Having regard to the superiority in 
cavalry which Dupleix could command, we are bound 
to admit that no more skilful plan could have been 
devised. If the league could be maintained, the 
want of provisions would compel the surrender of 

At the outset, the plan worked well. Whilst the 
Mysore army blockaded Trichinopoli, Morari Rao and 
the French contingent, under the command of M. 
Maissin, took up an intrenched position on the river 
Punar, near the English post of Tiruvadi, seven miles 
from Fort St. David. From this post they commenced 
a series of harassing movements against the English, 
cutting off their supplies, capturing foraging parties, 
and rendering it very difficult for the garrison of 
Tiruvadi to communicate with that of Fort St. David. 
In vain did Lawrence do his utmost to bring them 


to action. On his approach, the allies withdrew 
behind their intrenchments. To such a state of 
distress was he reduced at last that he found himself 
compelled-to employ his whole force as an escort to 
convoys whose arrival was necessary for the pro- 
vision of supplies. It need not be told how service 
of this nature harassed and distressed his men. 

During three months the allies persisted in their 
policy. More than one opportunity was offered them 
of inflicting serious damage on the convoys and 
the troops escorting them, but they were not taken. 
Lawrence, however, felt so keenly the danger threaten- 
ing English interests from the existence of an in-, 
trenched camp so close to Fort St. David whilst 
Trichinopoli, invested by the Mysore troops, was 
crying for relief, that he determined to take advantage 
of the arrival of 200 Europeans from Madras to storm 
the intrenchment. But a reconnaissance in force, and 
the failure of a sharp fire from his two 24-pounders to 
make any impression on the defences, showed him 
that the attempt could not succeed. Irritated and 
anxious, he waited three weeks longer, hoping some 
chance might offer. Instead of such a chance, he 
received, at the close of that period, despatches from 
Dalton, who commanded in Trichinopoli, telling him 
that he had but three weeks' supplies of provisions, 
and that he was blockaded on all sides. Lawrence 
did not hesitate a moment. Leaving 150 Europeans 
and 500 sipahis under Captain Chace to defend Tiru- 
vadi, he marched with the remainder of his troops, 


amounting to 650 Europeans and 1500 sipahis, for 

The sudden departure of Lawrence did not escape 
the watchful eye of Dupleix. Early in the year 
he had despatched 100 French troops — obtained 
partly from Bengal, partly from the ships in the 
roadstead — to co-operate with the soldiers of Mysore, 
and these men had occupied the island of Srirangam. 
Confident that the move of Lawrence was directed 
against Trichinopoli, he despatched on the instant 
200 Frenchmen and 500 sipahis from Maissin's force 
to reinforce the garrison of Srirangam, leaving in the 
intrenched position on the Punar 160 Europeans and 
1500 sipahis. The command of the detached force 
he gave to M. Astruc, an officer who had given signs 
of capacity. Whilst Astruc is marching on Sriringam, 
I propose to watch the action of Maissin on the 

Recognising at a glance that Lawrence had staked 
the fortunes of his countrymen on the successful 
defence of Trichinopoli, Dupleix determined to avail 
himself, to the full extent of the resources left to him, 
of~tEe advantages within his reach. He could not 
attack Fort St. David, for that place was secured to 
England- fey treaty. But Tiruvadi and Chilambaram — 
a strong~post on the road to Trichinopoli — had slender 
garrisons, whilst the provinces of North and South 
Arcot were left almost entirely denuded of English 
troops. These then he could recover. Acting on the 
powers bestowed upon him by the Subahdar he had 


nominated Murtizd All, a relation of the deceased 
Chanda Sahib, to be Nuw&b of the Karnatik. In his 
name, whilst Lawrence was chained to Trichinopoli, 
he would recover that territory. He sent then posi- 
tive instructions to Maissin to storm Tiruvadi. Maissin 
attacked (May 3), and was repulsed ; attacked again 
a few days later, and was again driven back. On the 
second occasion, however, the English garrison, not 
content with repulsing their enemy, followed him into 
the field. There they were surrounded by the Maratha 
horsemen, and cut to pieces to a man. Tiruvadi then 
surrendered ; Chilambaram followed suit ; then Mur- 
tiz& Ali started with a considerable native force and 
fifty French soldiers to recover the strong places in 
North and South Arcot. To a very large extent he 
succeeded, defeating the supporters of Muhammad 
Ali in a pitched battle, and clearing the provinces, 
except in the vicinity of Trichinopoli, of active 

Lawrence, meanwhile, marching rapidly, had entered 
Trichinopoli the 6th of May. But sickness and 
desertions had greatly reduced his force. When he 
mustered his troops after his arrival he found he 
could put into the field, including the soldiers which 
the garrison could spare, only 500 Europeans, 80 
artillery-men, 2000 sipahis, and 3000 of rabble 
cavalry in the service of Muhammad Ali. With this 
force he marched to drive the French from Srirangam. 
But the reinforcements despatched by Dupleix had 
reached that island the day after Lawrence had arrived 


at Trichinopoli. A reconnaissance in force then 
convinced Lawrence that the island was too strong to 
be attempted. Indeed, it was as much as he could do, 
to use his own language 1 , 'by a very brisk fire of 
artillery, to keep our flanks clear from the cavalry 
that surrounded us, and at every movement we made 
were ready to charge. Nor were the enemy's cannon 
silent.' The consequence was that after a very 
fatiguing day Lawrence was forced to retreat at night 
across the river, having lost two officers killed and 
three wounded, but he states, ' very few men in pro- 
portion.' At this period Colonel Lawrence's health 
failed him, and he withdrew within the fort. His 
situation there was a difficult one, for he was de- 
pendent upon native allies for supplies, and, since the 
capture of Chilambaram by the French, the road from 
the coast was in the hands of the enemy. By this 
time too, Dupleix, by incredible exertions, had so 
increased the force under Astruc that it slightly 
out-numbered, in Europeans, the number of which 
Lawrence could dispose. 

Noting all these things, Astruc, who was then very 
daring, obeying the instructions transmitted from 
Pondichery, crossed the Kaveri, and took possession of 
a commanding position known as the 'Five Kocks.' 
This position, if held, must compel the surrender of 
the fortress, as it commanded the country, known as 

1 Vide Cambridge's War in India, containing Colonel Lawrence's 
Narrative of the War on the Coast of Coromandel, from the beginning of 
the troubles to the year 1754, page 59. 


the 'Tondeman's country/ whence the English ob- 
tained their native supplies. 

In another work \ I have given in full detail the 
story of the exciting military events which followed. 
In this work it is necessary only to record the results. 
My object is to place as clearly as I can before the 
reader the marvellous recuperative power of Dupleix, 
the persistently steady aim of his policy, his un- 
swerving confidence in ultimate success, his deter- 
mination to leave nothing untried to achieve it. Let 
the reader contrast his position at the beginning of 
1753, when the loss of the 700 men coming from 
France under De la Touche and the death with them 
of that promising soldier, left him with scanty and 
inferior numbers to continue the battle for empire 
against Stringer Lawrence and the English, with the 
position his genius, his exertions, his ever-active brain 
had created in June of the same year. It was indeed 
a triumph of statesmanship. Whilst his troops under 
Bussy held in the French interest the territories of 
the Subahdar, comprehending those now ruled by the 
Nizam ; whilst he had even obtained, by the tact and 
readiness of Bussy, the cession to France of the country 
called the c Northern Sirkars ' ; he had recovered for the 
Nuwab nominated by himself North and South Arcot, 
had compelled the English to surrender Tiruv&di and 
Chilambaram, and to hold Fort St. David with a 
scanty garrison; had once more forced them to act 
on the defensive at Trichinopoli, and had severed 

1 History of the French in India, Longmans, 1866. 


their connection with the coast. Nay, more. On 
that spot, near to which the ill-fated Law had sur- 
rendered with nearly 700 Europeans only one year 
before, Dupleix had so managed as to bring the 
greater number to bear against the lesser. The differ- 
ence indeed was but trifling, but to accomplish it at 
all, in the face of the initial disaster of the year, was 
a marvellous achievement. He had done everything, 
in fact, that a comprehensive human brain could do. 
By the force of that brain alone he had inverted the 
position of the two nations in Southern India. In 
June, 1752, Law and the entire French army sur- 
rendered at Sriringam. In June, 1 753, Astruc occupied 
a position in front of Trichinopoli, whilst the English 
were content to defend the place. There is but one 
way of accounting for such a startling inversion of 
position. His supplies from Europe had failed him, 
whilst the English had received theirs. Driven to 
depend upon himself alone, Dupleix had, by a 
combination carried through without a check, so far 
compelled Fortune that it seemed to require but a 
great effort on the part of his army to win her over 

It was supremely unfortunate for him, specially 
fortunate for his rivals, that in Stringer Lawrence the 
English possessed one of the most capable men who 
ever served the East India Company. He was a 
great soldier; and his modesty equalled his daring. 
It is impossible to read his narrative of the war 
without being struck by the noble and unselfish 


nature of the man, by his great talent as a com- 
mander, by his coolness and readiness of resource on 
all occasions. He had a most able assistant in Captain 
Dalton, whose Memoirs, published a few years ago, 
throw much light on the splendid spirit which ani- 
mated our countrymen fighting in a strange country 
and with half-hearted allies. There was scarcely a 
man amongst them who was not a hero, and it is well 
that their memory, the memory of men who laid, in 
Southern India, the foundation of the wider Empire 
held by their descendants, should remain green and 
fresh for all time. For, after all, it was Clive, and 
Lawrence, and Dalton, and their companions, who 
foiled Dupleix. Had they not been better than the 
French officers to whom they were opposed, Dupleix 
must have won the game. He was their superior in 
his knowledge of native character, in his influence 
over the natives, in his powers of combination. But 
he was not a soldier. He could plan a campaign ; 
could direct his lieutenants what to do. But he 
could not act amid the storm of bullets and the roar 
of cannon. In that respect Clive and Lawrence sur- 
passed not only him, but the lieutenants whom he 
sent to carry out his instructions. It was this 
superiority in the field that foiled him. It had made 
Law surrender in 1752. It completely baffled Astruc 
and his successors in 1 753. 

For, pitted against Astruc, Lawrence proved con- 
clusively his superiority. By a sudden manoeuvre, 
Astruc had seized the Golden Rock, expelling thence 


the English. If he could but hold it, the English 
were doomed. Lawrence recognised this fact on the 
moment. Instantly he acted. Suddenly with his 
whole force he smote the French in front and on their 
flank, and drove them headlong from the Rock, cap- 
turing two guns and calmly defying all the efforts of 
the Maratha cavalry to break his square as it retired. 
To Astruc the defeat was so mortifying that he re- 
signed his command, and returned to Pondichery. 
He was succeeded by M. Brennier. 

Brennier had no better fortune. Lawrence having 
moved eastward to escort into the fort provisions 
of which the garrison was in great need, Brennier 
thought the opportunity good to attempt to storm 
the place. As a preliminary, he sent into it disguised 
a Frenchman named De Cattans to sketch the de- 
fences. De Cattans was caught in the act by Dalton. 
Dalton promised to intercede with Lawrence for his 
life, provided he would indicate to Brennier such 
points of attack as Dalton should point out. This was 
done. The stratagem, however, came to nothing, as 
when the paper reached Brennier he was occupied 
with another plan, that of intercepting and destroying 
Lawrence and his convoy. 

But in this he was foiled. From the summit of the 
Trichinopoli Rock, which rises to the height of 1878 
feet above the plain, Dalton was able to signal to 
Lawrence the positions occupied by the French. The 
consequence was that in the battle which followed, 
and which was most severely contested, Brennier 


was completely defeated. Totally demoralised, he 
fled to the banks of the Kaveri. Here, to his sur- 
prise, he was joined by Astruc, bringing reinforce- 
ments of 400 Europeans, six guns, 2000 sipahis, and 
3000 Maratha horse. Astruc took the command. 

Astruc was a more capable man than Brennier, and 
he had now a great opportunity, for his total of 
Europeans exceeded that of Lawrence, whilst his 
horsemen surpassed those of Muhammad All alike in 
quality as well as in number. It was indeed hard on 
Dupleix, to whose splendid exertions the despatch of 
this reinforcement was due, that at such a conjuncture 
Astruc should have become over-cautious. The third 
day after his arrival he had enticed the English force 
into a position in which it could be assailed with 
advantage. The Maratha chief, Morari Rao, pointed 
out to Astruc the opportunity, and implored him to 
use it, but afraid to risk all on the issue of a battle, 
Astruc declined. He had reason to repent it, for a 
fortnight later Lawrence received a reinforcement of 
23J Europeans, under a very able soldier, Captain 
Calliaud. Four days after the arrival of this re- 
inforcement, 1st October, 1753, Lawrence marched out 
and offered battle to Astruc. Astruc declined it. 
Thereupon Lawrence encamped where he stood, at- 
tacked him the following morning, and completely 
defeated him, taking prisoners Astruc himself, nine 
officers, and ninety-one men, capturing eleven guns, 
and killing or wounding about 100 men. His own loss 
did not exceed twenty men and six officers killed and 


wounded. The rest of the French force found refuge 
in the island of Srirangam. 

Meanwhile Dupleix at Pondichery, whilst using all 
the means in his power to strengthen his force before 
Trichinopoli, had not been less persistent in his 
attempts to pacify the Karn&tik. More than one 
circumstance, slight in itself, had satisfied him that 
his masters in France were men who would judge 
only by results ; that whilst they were ready to 
applaud and flatter him so long as he was successful, 
they would unhesitatingly sacrifice him if Fortune 
should prove adverse. Success, to them, meant the 
peaceful acquisition of territory, and increase of trading 
facilities. They cared not to reason out the terms 
by which such success was to be acquired. Why 
Dupleix should send troops to be killed before Trichi- 
nopoli was a problem they declined to consider. 
They only saw the result ; that, so far as concerned 
Trichinopoli, failure had succeeded failure. In the 
bosom of the French Company there had always been 
a minority jealous of Dupleix, feeble at first in its 
action, but always ready to start into active life. 
It was at this period, that is, after the surrender of 
Law had become known, that this minority began to 
assert its existence. In spite of its efforts, the 
majority had despatched De la Touche and his 700 
men to reinforce Dupleix. The accident which had 
disposed of this strong force before it reached the 
shores of India, whilst it deprived Dupleix of a 
strength which, considering all that he effected without 


it, he would probably have made decisive, served, 
illogically yet most certainly, to strengthen the ene- 
mies of the great proconsul. When, after the infor- 
mation reached France that Dupleix was still fight- 
ing, wasting, as it was argued, in military expeditions 
resources which should have been carefully utilised 
to develop commercial enterprise, the shareholders 
became dissatisfied, and the minority in the Council 
of Directors became formidable. Despatches were sent 
out to him, in which the necessity of procuring peace 
at any price was insisted upon in language not to be 

Dupleix was not unwilling to have peace. He 
would himself indeed have preferred to be at peace 
with the English, provided only that they would re- 
cognise the titles and the concessions he had obtained 
from the Subahdar of the Deccan. ; These concessions 
included (December, 1753) the whole of the territory 
known as the Northern Sirkars. He had already, in 
February of 1792, addressed Mr. Saunders on the 
subject; but the reply he received plainly showed him 
that the English would not then admit his preten- 
sions. When, however, in July of 1753, he had the 
first glimmering of the possible attitude towards him- 
self of his masters in France, he attempted to renew 
the negotiation. The time, the reader will recollect, 
was when Lawrence and Astruc faced one another, 
not unequally, before Trichinopli ; when Dupleix was 
recovering North and South Arcot; when Moracin, 
sent for the purpose by Bussy, was organising the 


territories of the Chilka Lake and Motapili. The 
reply of Saunders was conciliatory, and negotiations 
opened. It soon transpired, however, that the French 
demands were of a nature which the English Governor 
would never concede. Dupleix demanded, as a pre- 
liminary, the recognition by the English of himself 
as Nuwab of the Karnatik. To admit this demand, 
Saunders felt, was to grant all that the two nations 
had been fighting for. In vain did Dupleix urge 
that the title had been bestowed by the Subahdar 
of the Deccan, and confirmed by a farman from the 
Mughal Emperor. Saunders replied that the title had 
descended to Muhammad All, as the surviving son of 
his father, and that he would not renounce it. The 
negotiations, however, continued. But it soon became 
clear that the issue of them would depend upon the 
result of the military proceedings before Trichinopoli. 
Should Astruc succeed in beating Lawrence, why, 
then the question would resolve itself. Each of the 
negotiating parties felt this. Each, therefore, whilst 
negotiating, strained every nerve to strengthen his 
forces before the rock-fortress. 

To Mr. Saunders, and the English generally, it 
seemed that that question had been fully decided on 
the 2nd of October. The loss to the French of 200 
Europeans, the capture of their leader, and the retreat 
of the remainder of the force into Srirangam, seemed 
a blow from which it would be impossible to recover. 
That Lawrence thought so is clear from the fact that 
instead of pursuing the dispirited remnants of the 
k 2 


French force into Srirangam, he had, after taking 
Waikonda, cantoned his army at Koiladi, fifteen miles 
to the east of Trichinopoli, commanding the approaches 
from the coast to the island. But Dupleix was not 
the man to give in whilst a chance remained. Never 
was he more formidable than when he had been ap- 
parently crushed. Never, I may add, did he show 
himself greater than on this occasion. According to 
all rule he was crushed. His best army had been 
defeated, his best general taken prisoner, the dis- 
heartened remnant of his soldiers were crouching in 
Srirangam — place of fatal omen — and Lawrence, with 
his victorious army, seemed to bar the way from 
Pondichery. But Dupleix did not give up the game. 
He had recently received from France reinforcements 
sufficient to enable him to dispose of 300 Europeans. 
Joining to these 1200 sipahis, he despatched them 
under the orders of a new commander, De Main- 
ville \ with definite instructions. These were to join as 
secretly as possible the force in Srirangam, to lull the 
English into security; then, suddenly emerging from 
the island, to carry Trichinopoli by a coup de main. 

The report that the English force was suffering 
greatly from sickness at Koiladi had reached Dupleix. 
It was very true. In a few days Lawrence had lost 
six officers and many men. He had dismissed to 

1 Lawrence, and after him Orme, state that Maissin commanded : 
but the French records show that it was Mainville, and that the 
command was not given to Maissin until after the arrival of Gode- 
heu to relieve Dupleix. 


their own country the Tanjore troops, and he was 
supported only by the rabble of Muhammad All. 
It was under these circumstances that Mainville 
marched. He reached the island in safety, and 
remained there so quiet that Lawrence, busy with 
his sick troops, conceived no suspicion as to his 
intentions. All this time Mainville was making 
preparations, preparing scaling ladders, training his 
men, and storing up information about the fortress. 
At length, on December 8, he was ready. He had 
acted with so much caution that neither the English 
nor their native allies entertained the slightest sus- 
picions as to his intentions. His plan was as follows : 
To attempt with 600 Frenchmen, supported by 200 
more and the sipahis, the part of the rock-fortress 
known as Dalton's Battery, guarded, it had been 
ascertained, by only fifty sipahis ; after mastering 
this, without firing a shot, to dash round the two 
traverses, guided by a deserter, and apply a petard to 
the gate of the town : should that fail, to attempt to 
escalade, the walls at that point being but eighteen 
feet above the rock. 

At three o'clock in the morning of December 9 
(new style), Mainville crossed the Kaveri to carry out 
his plan ; reached, unperceived, the base of the rock ; 
and stormed Dalton's Battery without losing a man. 
Had his men only obeyed orders and abstained from 
firing, they would certainly have captured the place, 
for the English were fast asleep. But the evil genius 
of the French soldiers prompted them to turn against 


the town two of the twelve-pounders they had cap- 
tured in Dalton's Battery, and to shout Vive le Roi. 
The result was to arouse the garrison. To such 
purpose indeed did the noise rouse them, that when 
the French, guided by the English deserter, dashed 
round the traverses, they were met by a heavy 
musketry fire from the hurriedly-assembled garrison. 
The first fire killed the deserter, the only one of the 
party who knew the exact locality of the town gate. 
His death caused delay whilst men were searching 
for the gate, and meanwhile the English fire became 
more and more deadly. It was dark, and the 
numbers on both sides could not be seen. But the 
English knew perfectly where they were, whilst the 
French were at a great disadvantage from want of 
that knowledge. It was not, however, until their 
ladders had been shattered that they thought of 
retreating. But they were in an impasse. There 
was no means of escape open to them except by leap- 
ing from the battery. This some few attempted, but, 
when the day broke, the majority, noting that they 
were quite at the mercy of their enemies, asked for 
quarter. This was granted to them. '.They lost in 
this affair/ wrote Lawrence, '364 Europeans taken 
prisoners, 65 of whom were wounded; 8 officers also 
taken, most of them wounded, and 1 officer killed, 
and they acknowledged themselves that many more 
were wounded or lamed who were carried off to the 
island.' Lawrence adds : ' The scheme was well laid, 
and had not French petulance made them too soon 


discover themselves, they perhaps might have had 
time to execute their designs,' About this, we think, 
there can be no reasonable doubt. 

This time the blow was fatal: it did not, indeed, 
come alone. The Nuwab nominated by Dupleix H^r 
rule the Karnatik, Murtiza All, had been beaten at 
Tiruvannamalai, and another French partisan, Mu- 
hammad Kumar, had been annihilated before the 
pagoda of Tirupati. But the defeat before Trichinopoli 
was the fatal blow. It was the finishing stroke which 
paralysed the French Governor. The one chance of 
recouping himself lay in a prompt accommodation with 
the English. Could he persuade Saunders to agree 
to terms of a settlement, no matter how disad- 
vantageous, he might secure at least a respite. It was 
the. more, necessary that such a result should follow, 
as the news from France pointed to the possibility of 
his being made the scape-goat for all the mishaps. 
Dupleix found Saunders not unwilling to respond. 
After a tedious correspondence, it was finally resolved 
between them that Commissioners from both parties 
should hold a Congress at Sadras, a Dutch settlement 
between Madras and Pondichery. In accordance with 
this agreement Messrs. Palk and Vansittart proceeded 
to that place on the part of the English to meet there 
Father Lavaur, M. de Kerjean, and M. Bausset, 
nominated by Dupleix. The French Commissioners 
reached Sadras the 21st of January, 1754, and the 
Congress commenced work the following day. 


The Fall of Dupleix 

Dupleix, whilst determined to maintain his position 
as Nuw&b of the Karnatik, had authorised his Com- 
missioners to make such liberal concessions on other 
points as might, he hoped, induce the English to give 
way in that one particular. At the first meeting of 
the Congress, then, they proposed that the arrears 
due by the English Company on account of the rent 
for Madras should be remitted, and that thenceforth 
Madras should become the absolute property of the 
English ; that the expenses they had been put to on 
account of the war should be defrayed from the 
revenues of the Karnatik ; that the French Company 
should give to the English Company the necessary 
securities for freedom of commerce. They proposed 
to compensate Muhammad All by the bestowal upon 
him of a Government in another part of the Deccan 
guaranteed to him by the French and English jointly; 
and to assure to the Raja of Tanjore, under a similar 
guarantee, the possession of his territories. They 
demanded also the evacuation by the English of the 
fortified places in the interior, with the exception of 
Punamullu, fifteen miles from Madras, which, with 
its dependent territories, should become absolutely 


their own ; and the release of the prisoners taken on 
both sides. 

In these proposals, it will be observed, though there 
was no actual mention of the title of Nuwab of the 
Karnatik, it was taken for granted throughout that 
that title, bestowed by the Subahdar of the Deccan, 
and confirmed by the Mughal sovereign, should remain 
with Dupleix. To this the English Commissioners 
took objection. They urged that although the patent 
of the Subahdar might pass, the confirming letter 
from Delhi was unsigned 1 , and was wanting in the 
seal of the Prime Minister. They were prepared to 
give way on many points, but regarding the rights of 
Muhammad All they were inflexible. 

It was on this point that the negotiations broke 
off. Dupleix would not give way. In vain did 
Saunders instruct his Commissioners to make the 
most liberal concessions to ensure agreement. He 
went so far as to offer to declare the office of Nuwab 
vacant, on condition that Muhammed Ali should be 
appointed to it under the joint protection of the two 
Companies. But the passions of Dupleix were 
roused. He had been formally nominated Nuwab of 
the Karnatik. His pride would not allow him to 
renounce so lofty a position in favour of a man who 
had posed as his rival. Seventy years later, the man 
whom he most resembled in ambition, in genius, in 
the power of compelling others, came, under similar 

1 My own experience points to the fact that native sovereigns 
rarely affix their signatures to documents of this description. 


circumstances, at Dresden in 1813, and at Chatillon 
in 1 8 14, to a similar resolution. He, too — to use the 
words of the English historian — ' refused to sit on a 
degraded throne.' It was the one occasion throvghout 
that long war on which Dupleix allowed his passions 
to master his reasoning powers. What if he had 
given way ? Men of that stamp give way only to 
make a further step forward. Had he agreed to 
forego his own pretensions and to acknowledge Mu- 
hammad Ali, not only would he have received back 
all his soldiers, but an opportunity would have been 
granted him to employ his unrivalled powers of in- 
trigue upon his whilom enemy. Who, that knows 
Asiatics, can doubt his success ? It was certain that, 
sooner or later, and rather sooner than later, the re- 
lations between Muhammad Ali and the English, the 
obliged and the obliger, would become strained. Then, 
could he but remain quiet up to that time, nursing 
his resources, his chance would come. And it would 
have been a great chance. Some thought of this 
sort, doubtless, occurred to Dupleix. But his pride 
rejected it ; and his pride went before his fall. 

In consequence of the failure of the negotiations at 
Sadras, hostilities before Trichinopoli were renewed. 
Strange to relate, the first actions seemed to justify 
the obstinacy of Dupleix at the Congress. He, too, 
had his battle of Dresden. Acting in concert with 
Morari Rao, Mainville laid an ambush in force for a 
large convoy, escorted by the famous grenadiers who 
had borne the brunt of the battles of Lawrence, 184 


in number, 800 sipahis, and four guns. The French 
blocked the road with 240 European infantry 1 , 6000 
sipahis, and a troop of 80 European horsemen, near 
Kantapara, seven miles from Trichinopoli, whilst 
Morari Kao, with 3500 native horsemen, lay in am- 
bush in some thick woods. The surprise was complete 
(February 26) ; the English in long single file could 
offer no efficient resistance. They could only die at 
their posts. The horsemen had already killed fifty of 
them when the French infantry came up. They at 
once offered quarter. The offer was accepted, and 
134 Englishmen, of whom 100 were wounded, became 
prisoners to the French. Of the English officers, 
four were killed, three were taken prisoners, and one 
escaped. The victors captured likewise four pieces 
of cannon, about ^7000 in money, and the convoy of 

But this success was only a flash in the pan. On 
the 23rd of May a force of 700 Frenchmen, supported 
by a large body of sipahis and Maratha horse, was 
repulsed by an English force much inferior in num- 
bers. It was an occasion which, had the French 
been well led, might have proved decisive of the war ; 
for, for some time, the English were in great peril. 
But the resources of Dupleix were by no means ex- 
hausted. Under his orders Mainville, by a skilful 

1 Lawrence says, ' 120 French infantry, two companies of deserters 
about the same number, the French troop of about eighty, 6000 
sipahis, all the Mysore cavalry and the Marathas, in all about 
10,000 and seven pieces of cannon.' 


movement, possessed himself of Kilakota and Koi- 
ladi, whilst Morari Rao defeated the Tanjore troops. 
Bringing his diplomacy to bear at the opportune 
moment, Dupleix had almost succeeded in detaching 
the R£ja of Tanjore from the English alliance when 
he learned that he had been superseded, and that his 
successor, M. Godeheu, whom he had formerly benefited 
at Chandarnagar, and who had subsequently become 
a Director of the French Company, might arrive at 
any moment. In fact, the ship carrying Godeheu 
and his fortunes anchored in the Pondichery road- 
stead the 1st of August (1754). 

The fact was that, in France, the Company of the 
Indies and the Ministers of the King had alike been 
long weary of this distant war which brought them 
neither glory nor profit, but which interfered greatly 
with commerce. They did not enter into, they did 
not comprehend, the vastness of the plans of Dupleix, 
His mind had penetrated the future : their minds 
were intent on the present. That present had for 
them a gloomy aspect. As year after year brought 
no practical result, the idea stole upon them that the 
resources of France were being squandered to pro- 
mote the vanity and the ambition of one individual. 
They reckoned not the advantages already acquired 
— the control of the councils of the Subahdar of the 
Deccan, the most powerful ruler in Southern India ; 
the cession to France in absolute gift of the Northern 
Sirkars, comprising Ganjam, Vizagapatam, Goddvari. 
and Krishna, with Rajamahendri and Masulipatam ; 


the acquisition of important territories round and 
near to Pondichery ; the vast influence exercised by 
the genius of one man. They were traders, they 
argued, not soldiers fighting for dominion. They 
wanted to share peaceably with the English the com- 
merce between Southern India and Europe, not to ex- 
terminate rival traders. It is possible that had the 
policy of Dupleix been immediately successful, the 
minds of the Directors would have widened so far as 
to accept results. But when they heard, first of 
Law's disaster, then of the loss of De la Touche and 
his 700 men, then of the defeats in succession of 
Astruc, of Brennier, of Mainville, and found that these 
military operations interfered greatly with the pro- 
gress of those commercial relations which they re- 
garded as the reason of their existence, they came at 
last to the determination to insist on a change of 
policy. Negotiating with the English East India 
Company, the Directors of which attributed all the 
disturbances to Dupleix, they came to the conclusion 
that that change could be accomplished only if their 
agent were removed. By them he was considered as 
the sole obstacle to peace. They resolved then to 
replace him, to come to terms with their rivals in 
trade. It vain was it asserted that if Dupleix was 
responsible for the war, Saunders was not less so. 
The answer was considered conclusive, that the belli- 
cose humour of Saunders was the necessary conse- 
quence of the initiative of Dupleix. There need be 
but one scape-goat, and it was finally agreed that that 


scape-goat must be Dupleix. Therefore Godeheu was 
sent to supersede him. 

The ship, the Due de Burgogne, having Godeheu 
on board, anchored, as I have said, the ist of August, 
off Pondichery. Arguing from the previous relations 
between them, in which he had been the benefactor 
and Godeheu the benefited, Dupleix went at once on 
board to welcome his ancient comrade. His reception 
was most frigid. Godeheu declined to become his 
guest, or even to land until a house should be fitted 
up for him. He handed to him, however, three docu- 
ments: the first a letter expressive of his desire to 
make his position as little painful as possible; the 
second a demand for a complete statement of the 
affairs of the Company; the third an order for his 
recall. The next day he landed ; and, proceeding to 
the Council Chamber, caused his commission to be 
read out. The silence which followed the reading 
was broken by Dupleix, not by the utterance of any 
querulous complaints, but by the loyal cry Vive le 

For ten weeks Dupleix was forced to remain at 
Pondichery whilst his accounts were overhauled by 
his successor. Dupleix had advanced to the Company 
vast sums, and the accounts showed him to be a 
creditor of the Company to the extent of upwards of 
£ 240,000. Godeheu, whose object it seemed to be 
not merely to belittle but to ruin his predecessor, 
had no sooner ascertained this fact than he forbad the 
Commissaries he had employed to proceed further 


with the accounts, but directed them to give a certi- 
ficate to the effect that the vouchers produced by 
Dupleix had reference to the public service. He thus 
avoided placing on record an acknowledgment of the 
sums due to Dupleix. But this was not all. Dupleix 
had been in the habit of advancing large sums from 
his own private resources to the native allies of 
France. These advances had been made on the 
security of certain districts, from the revenues of 
which they were repayable. At the time of Godeheu's 
arrival some of the moneys so advanced had been 
repaid, others, to a very large amount, were still 
standing over. At the rate however at which the 
repayments were coming in, the lender would be re- 
imbursed during the following year. But Godeheu, 
bent on ruining Dupleix, imprisoned the native agent 
who held the original documents, and declared that 
the advances had been made by his predecessor for 
his own private advantage, and not for the benefit of 
the State. He refused also to allow a bill drawn by 
the Company in favour of Dupleix to be cashed at 
Pondichery. Having thus effectually ruined the man 
who had all but won an Empire for France he allowed 
him to depart, beggared but not dishonoured, blasted 
in fortune, cheated out of the fruits of his then ripen- 
ing labours. 

' England/ wrote M. Xavier Kaymond in his admir- 
able work on India 1 , 'has been much admired and 
often cited for having resolved the great problem of 

1 L'Univers Pittoresque, vol. ii, L'Inde. Paris, 1853. 


bow to govern, at a distance of 4000 leagues, with 
some hundreds of civil functionaries and some thou- 
sands of soldiers, her immense possessions in India. 
If there is much that is wonderful, much that is bold 
and daring, much political genius in the idea, it must 
be admitted that the honour of having inaugurated it 
belongs to Dupleix ; and that England, which in the 
present day reaps from it the profit and the glory, 
has had but to follow the path which the Genius of 
France opened out to her/ Yes, indeed ! Now that 
the lapse of nearly a century and a half has cleared 
away the passions and prejudices of that exciting 
period ; now that from the basis of accomplished facts 
we can examine the ideas and conceptions of the men 
who were the pioneers of European conquest on 
Indian soil, there lives not a candid Englishman who 
will deny to Dupleix the credit of having been the 
first to devise the method by which European pre- 
dominance on Indian soil might be established. His 
work did not endure because it was his misfortune to 
be compelled to employ inferior tools, whilst his rivals 
were led by men of extraordinary capacity. It did 
not last because just at the moment when his plans 
might have been realised he was recalled at the 
instance of the immemorial enemy of France, on the 
eve, moreover, of a war, which for the seven years 
that were to follow, was to try the resources against 
France of that very enemy. But the effect of 
his schemes survived him. The ground he had so 
well watered and fertilised, the capabilities of which 


he had proved, was almost immediately after his de- 
parture occupied by his rivals, with the immense 
result which is one of the wonders of the present 

A body of 2000 French troops had followed Godeheu 
to India, and had arrived at Pondichery a few days 
after he had installed himself there as Governor. 
When we reflect on the great things accomplished by 
Dupleix with a few hundreds, it is difficult to resist 
the conclusion that for the interests of France the one 
superfluous man of all the arrivals was Godeheu 
himself. Had there been no such arrival, no super- 
session of Dupleix, these men, in the absence of Clive 
in England, and of Lawrence, whose health was 
breaking, would have been sufficient to restore su- 
periority to the French. The outbreak of the war in 
1756 between France and England might even have 
prompted the attack, which Lally subsequently made, 
upon Madras itself. 

It is just possible that this might have been, had 
the departure of Dupleix from Pondichery been de- 
layed a few weeks longer. A fortnight after he had 
quitted the shores of India there arrived at that 
town a despatch from the Controller of Finances in 
France, M. de Machault, addressed to Dupleix, in 
which that administrator was referred to as Governor, 
whilst Godeheu was styled simply the Commissary of 
the Company, whose sole mission was to treat for 
peace. There is reason to believe that Machault, an 
honest man in a corrupt Court, had, very soon after 



the departure of Godcheu, entertained fears as to the 
effect of a recall of Duplcix upon French interests in 
Southern India, and had employed all his address to 
retain him there as Governor by limiting the responsi- 
bilities of Godeheu. He was just too late. His 
despatch reached Pondichery at the end of October. 
Dupleix had sailed for Europe on the 14th of that 
month. The news of his recall had meanwhile spread 
terror and dismay in those places which he and his 
subordinates had won for France. Nor were the ap- 
prehensions thus caused lessened by the instructions 
despatched by Godeheu to the French agents in 
different parts of India to the effect that it was not his 
intention to interfere in the affairs of native princes. 
He did not indeed proceed so far as to recall Bussy 
from Aurangabad, or Moracin from the Northern 
Sirkars. But both these men felt the difficulties of 
their position under the new Governor to be so great 
that it required the most urgent entreaties of Dupleix 
to persuade them to remain. The reply of Bussy to 
the entreaty made to himself marks, perhaps as 
strongly as any other incident, the large principles 
upon which Dupleix had administered his office, the 
attachment he had won from those who carried out 
his behests. 'I reply,' wrote Bussy, c to the letter 
with which you favoured me on the 4th. Your de- 
parture to Europe is a thunderbolt which has con- 
founded and alarmed me. You, who are leaving, 
exhort me to continue to serve the nation and to 
support a work which is on the brink of destruction. 


Do you sincerely believe I shall not be enveloped in 
the same disgrace as yourself? The blow is perhaps 
deferred, or suspended only to be struck with greater 
force. But however that may be, I have ever con- 
sidered it my duty to defer to your counsels and to 
follow your reasoning. Under no circumstances shall 
I ever depart from that respectful and inviolable 
attachment which has been till now my happiness 
and my glory, and which will always remain so. 
I await the replies of M. Godeheu before I decide .... 
If, in the post which I occupy, I am not to be allowed 
liberty of action ; if any attempt be made to fetter me 
with the ideas of ignorant and inexperienced men, 
my work must perish in my hands.' Bussy concluded 
by saying that whilst personally he would prefer to 
retire to France, he would follow implicitly the advice 
given him by the man he admired and respected 
above all others. Dupleix again urgently pressed 
him to remain, and he remained. 

Before I proceed to recount the work of demolition 
accomplished by Godeheu, and the two subsequent 
attempts to rebuild on the foundations which Dupleix 
had laid, I think it due to my readers to accompany 
that illustrious man in his return to France. His 
arrival there, strange as it may appear, was looked 
upon even by some of the men who had recalled him 
as a misfortune, and for a time it seemed not im- 
possible that he might be directed to return to Pondi- 
chery. He was, therefore, well received, and promised 
a speedy settlement of his claims. But letters from 

L 2 

1 64 DUPLE IX 

Godeheu, and the news that he had concluded peace 
with the English on the spot, at once changed the atti- 
tude of the men who ruled. He became then in their 
eyes an importunate solicitor for the settlement of 
claims, the payment of which would constitute a heavy 
tax on their resources. The report of Godeheu, that 
the claims had not been established to his satisfaction, 
strengthened their hands. They therefore declined to 
admit them, or to compensate him in any way. In 
vain did he remonstrate. In vain did he point out 
that he was persecuted by creditors who were 
creditors only, because, on his personal security, they 
had advanced sums to the State. For seven years he 
pressed his claims, supporting them by incontestable 

He received not the shadow of redress. Nay, more. 
Men whom he had befriended, whose fortunes he had 
made, fell off from him when they saw that he was 
abandoned by the Government he had served so 
truly. The state of misery to which he was at last 
reduced can be realised by the perusal of the following 
record he made in his Memoirs three days before he 
died : ' I have sacrificed/ he wrote, ' my youth, my 
fortune, my life, to enrich my nation in Asia. Un- 
fortunate friends, too weak relations, devoted all their 
property to the success of my projects. They are 
now in misery and want. I have complied with all 
the judiciary forms: I have demanded, as the last of 
the creditors, that which is due to me. My services 
are treated as fables, my demand is denounced as 


ridiculous, I am treated as the vilest of mankind. 
I am in the most deplorable indigence. The little 
property that remained to me has been seized. I am 
compelled to ask for decrees for delay in order not to 
be dragged to prison.' 

Thus wrote, three days before he died, the man 
who had dug for France the foundations of an Empire 
which would, if built upon, have made her the arbiter 
of the East. Nations have their moods of infatuation. 
In 1754-6 France had hers. Acting in concert with 
the rival who was to supplant her, she recalled her 
far-seeing architect, left the foundations desolate and 
unguarded, and only realised her mistake when she 
witnessed her rival eagerly adopting those very plans, 
and building upon those very foundations which the 
genius of her own architect had devised and marked 
out. Meanwhile, she had allowed that architect to die 
' in misery and want/ 

Dupleix died November io, 1764. Notwithstanding 
the neglect of his contemporaries, he will ever be 
regarded as one of the greatest of Frenchmen. Even 
the rivals who profited by his recall place him on a 
pedestal scarcely, if at all, lower than the pedestals 
upon which stand Clive, Warren Hastings, and 
Wellesley. In grandness of conception, and in the 
wide scope of his projects of Qmpire, he was their 
forerunner — unconsciously on their part perhaps, their 


The Final Collapse 

Dupleix had departed, and Godeheu reigned in his 
stead. Godeheu was the exact opposite of his pre- 
decessor. He was a man with a mission. That 
mission was to conclude peace with the English and 
the native princes at any price. He carried out his 
task very much to the satisfaction of the English. 
Only a few months before the English Governor, 
Saunders, had been ready to conclude a treaty with 
Dupleix on the principle of admitting all the conditions 
proposed by the French administrator, if only he would 
renounce the title of Nuwab of the Karnatik. Gode- 
heu, who made no pretension to such a title, was 
glad to assent to terms far less favourable. Thinking 
only of commerce, and believing that the same senti- 
ment animated the English, he agreed with Saunders 
that the two Companies should renounce for ever all 
Mughal dignities and governments, and never interfere 
in the differences which might arise between the 
native princes. The second article of his treaty 
stipulated that whilst the English should possess 
Madras, Fort St. David, and Devikota, the French 
should be content with Pondichery, Karikal, and 
certain districts to be agreed upon, sufficient to make 


the districts of Pondichery equal to those of Madras 
and Fort St. David united. On the other hand, the 
exclusive right of the French to the Northern Sirkars, 
granted by the Subahdar, was not recognised. The 
other conditions related to the navigation of certain 
rivers, and provided that the principle uti possidetis 
should be applied until the confirmation of the treaty 
should arrive front Europe. Pending that arrival, no 
forts were to be erected on either side. 

It will be recognised that in this treaty Godeheu 
renounced all that Dupleix had fought for. He gave 
up the office of Nuwab of the Karnatik, he gave up 
the Northern Sirkars, he gave up his native allies, 
he gave up the influence and prestige of the French 
nation. How unfortunate was his administration to 
France was proved by the fact that whereas to 
Dupleix, Saunders had offered to yield every point 
but one — that referring to the Nuwabship of the 
Karnatik — he reduced Godeheu to a position which 
left Pondichery and Karikal mere trading-ports. It 
would seem that his single object was to undo all 
that Dupleix had accomplished, to renounce all moral 
influence over the native populations, to abjure the 
principle of associating for the advantage of France 
with powerful native sovereigns in the interior. He 
carried out that programme to the best of his small 
ability. Only one thing he did not do. He did not 
recall Bussy and his troops from the Court of the 

Godeheu stayed but a few months in India. He 


quitted Pondichery in February, 1755, and was suc- 
ceeded, after a short interval, by M. Duval de Leyrit, 
a factor in the employment of the French Company, 
possessing neither political ability nor large views. 
He too was a partisan of that policy of non-inter- 
vention. He had not been long in office when, May 
1756, war broke out between France and England. 
By this time the French Ministers had realised the 
enormous mistake they had committed in not effici- 
ently supporting Dupleix, and they notified to De 
Leyrit that they were preparing a considerable force 
to send to India to support French interests there. 
Their original design went far beyond the defence of 
French interests. The force was to be large enough 
to expel the English from Southern India, to restore 
by means of their troops the policy of the Governor 
they had recalled and ruined. 

The command of this expedition was bestowed 
upon one of the most distinguished officers in the 
French army, an Irishman by birth. This was 
Thomas Arthur, Count Lally and Baron Tollendal, 
son of Sir Gerard O'Lally, who, after the capture of 
Limerick in 1691, had migrated to France and had 
entered the service of Louis XIV. Nine years after 
this event there was born to Sir Gerard the son who, 
trained from his earliest youth in the French armies, 
had merited at Fontenoy the commendations of 
Marshal Saxe; who had taken part in the '45, and 
had fought at Laffeldt. The young Lally had made 
a great reputation. His contemporaries regarded him 


as a man with respect to whom ' it needed only that 
success should be possible for him to succeed.' The 
illustrious Voltaire, who had, by desire of the Minister, 
worked with him a month, recorded that he ' had 
found in him a stubborn fierceness of soul, accompanied 
by great gentleness of manners.' In fact, he was 
universally regarded in France as the man who could 
take up the dropped thread of the work of Dupleix, 
and carry it to a successful issue. 

It had been originally intended that Lally should 
sail for India immediately, with a force of 3000 men. 
The number he actually took fell somewhat short 
of that total, and what was worse, the delays, caused 
to a great extent by the incompetence of the Admiral 
who commanded the fleet which was to co-operate 
with him, so influenced his proceedings that it was 
the 28th of April, 1758, before he arrived off Pondi- 

Meanwhile, the treaty concluded between the 
French and English by Godeheu and Saunders had 
long since become a dead letter. De Leyrit, noticing 
the continued infraction of that treaty by his rivals, 
had been compelled, much against his will, to resume 
the policy of Dupleix. Housing the gouty old 
D'Auteuil from his lethargy, he had despatched him 
with a superior force to surprise the English at 
Trichinopoli. D'Auteuil acted as a gouty invalid 
will always act. Wanting energy, fire, and the sense 
of the value of prompt action, he, with the most 
brilliant opportunities before him, allowed himself to 


be out-manoeuvred and beaten back to Pondichery. 
De Ley rit had then replaced D'Auteuil by one 
Saubinet, who had done much better, and had com- 
pelled the English to act on the defensive. Saubinet 
was master of the field when the first detachment of 
Lally's force arrived under the Chevalier de Soupire, 
(September 9, 1757). Pending the arrival of Lally, 
De Leyrit united the considerable force of De Soupire 
to that of Saubinet, and the combined troops captured 
Tiruvannamalai and other places in the vicinity of 
Chitapet and Gingi. The opportunities were mag- 
nificent to accomplish a great deal more, for the 
English had sent all the troops they could spare to 
assist Clive in Bengal. But Lally was expected 
every day : he was known to be haughty, imperious, 
violently prejudiced against Franco-Indians. De Sou- 
pire hesitated to act decisively till he should arrive : the 
precious moments, therefore, were allowed to slip by. 
At length Lally arrived. He had all the possi- 
bilities before him. He was a splendid soldier. But 
there was wanting, from his disposition, that peculiar 
quality which had enabled Dupleix to acquire com- 
manding influence over all the native princes with 
whom he came in contact. Dupleix could persuade : 
Lally could only command. The one caressed the 
foibles of the native to turn them to bis own advan- 
tage. The other heeded neither his foibles nor his 
virtues, but stamped contemptuously on both. Dupleix, 
wielding but a small number of European troops, had 
made possible French predominance in Southern 


India because he possessed the innate power of in- 
fluencing vast numbers of the children of the soil. 
Lally, wielding 'a force which, prudently directed, 
might easily have established that predominance, 
failed even more miserably than his predecessor for 
the want of that very tact and knowledge. Not 
only would he take no pains to conciliate the natives, 
but he trod ruthlessly on their prejudices. He would 
recognise none of their castes, and he scoffed openly 
at their creeds. Nor did he spare the French officials 
at Pondichery. He treated them with a hauteur 
which soon turned their hearts against him. 

It must be admitted, as far as relates to those 
officials, that they were inefficient and incompetent. 
Immediately on his arrival, Lally demanded informa- 
tion regarding the strength and garrisons of Fort 
St. David, of Gudalur, and of Madras ; also regard- 
ing the total strength of the English in Southern 
India. But neither De Leyrit nor his councillors 
could give him any precise information on these 
points; they could not even tell him the actual 
distance from Pondichery to Gudalur, though it was 
but sixteen miles. They could only offer to furnish 
guides. It is not surprising that this ignorance and 
this indifference confirmed the contempt of Lally for 
the Franco-Indian fraternity, nor that thenceforth he 
utterly disregarded them. 

Essentially a man of action, and possessing a 
superiority in numbers on the coast, Lally obtained 
at first some striking successes. He took without 


difficulty both Gudalur and Fort St. David. He 
then wished to march on Madras. But he had no 
money ; the magazines and arsenals were empty. 
Instead of a Dupleix to supply the one and fill the 
other, he had a De Leyrit, who met all his requisitions 
by pleading the impossibility of complying with 
them. Strange reversal of position! From 1752 to 
1 756 Dupleix had improvised the most ample resources 
for an army: he only wanted the army and the 
general. In 1758 the army and the general were 
there, but the incapable successors of Dupleix were 
unable to furnish them with a single article necessary 
for the movement of troops or to give him the smallest 
information. At length, Lally, driven by the indiffer- 
ence of De Leyrit to extremities, endeavoured to raise 
funds from the Raja of Tanjore. The Raja amused 
him with promises until Captain Qalliaud had sent 
him some trained sipahis from Trichinopoli. Then 
he threw off the mask and bade defiance to the 
French army. Lally was about to assault the place 
when a message reached him that the French fleet 
had been beaten off the coast, and that the English 
were threatening his base. He returned then to 
Pondichery without risking an assault, found there 
three lakhs of rupees which the Admiral had taken 
from a Dutch vessel which he had plundered, then 
despatching orders to Bussy to join him, marched to 
Arcot. Arcot fell without a blow. Bussy joined him 
from Aurangabad, Moracin with 250 men and 100,000 
rupees from the Northern Sirkars; he himself, by 


returning to Pondichery, wrung some more money 
from the Pondichery Council ; then, taking the 
strong places which lay between Arcot and Madras, 
appeared before the latter place on the 12th of De- 
cember. He had under his orders 2000 European 
infantry, 300 cavalry, and 5000 trained sipahis. 

Into the details of the siege which followed it is 
unnecessary to enter. It will suffice to state that 
although Lally took easy possession of the Black 
Town, the fort resisted with such resolution that, 
notwithstanding some advantages gained in the open, 
one of which he unaccountably failed to press home, 
he was ultimately compelled to raise the siege. His 
heavy guns had already made a breach in the fortifi- 
cations, and he was waiting for a favourable night to 
order the assault, when the English fleet appeared off 
the coast. It was the 16th of February. Lally' s 
resources were exhausted. The following day, full of 
rage and disappointment, he raised the siege. 

The most fatal mistake committed by Lally up to 
this point was the recalling of Bussy and his troops 
from the Court of the Subahdar, and of Moracin from 
the Northern Sirkars. To replace the latter he had 
sent the Marquis de Conflans, an officer with no 
Indian experience. The consequences were fatal to 
French domination. One of the Rajas in the northern 
part of the Northern Sirkars seized the occasion to 
assert his independence, and despatched pressing- 
requests to Calcutta for assistance. Clive, thoroughly 
alive to the possibilities which might result from 


English interference, sent his best officer, Colonel 
Forde, with a small number of troops to aid the Raja. 
The consequences justified the action of the great 
Englishman, taken though it was against l the advice 
of every member of his Council. They were in every 
way most advantageous to England. Forde, the 
superior soldier, the man who knew India, pitted 
against Conflans, the inferior soldier, recently im- 
ported from Europe, not only conquered for England 
the Northern Sirkars, but compelled the Sabahdar of 
the Deccan, who interfered at the head of an army to 
support the French, to transfer his alliance from that 
people to the English. It is from the period of the 
expulsion of the French from the Northern Sirkars 
that date the reciprocal engagements between the 
Nizam and the Anglo-Indian Government which 
exist in a modified form to the present day. 

Meanwhile Lally, leaving his troops under De 
Soupire at Arcot, had returned to Pondichery to 
arrange for means to carry on the war. After many 
delays and many mischances, he rejoined the army at 
Wandiwash, and marched with it to Arcot. During 
his absence, the English force, recently strengthened 
and now commanded by another of Clive's lieutenants, 
the renowned Eyre Coote, had taken Wandiwash. 
Lally marched to recover the place, and took up a 
strong position before it. There, the 21st of January, 
1760, he was attacked and completely defeated by 

1 For a detailed account of these transactions the reader is re- 
ferred to Malleson's Decisive Battles of India, new edition, pp. 77-114. 


Eyre Coote. The victory of the English was decisive *. 
' It dealt a fatal and decisive blow to French domina- 
tion in India : it shattered to the ground the mighty 
fabric which Martin, Dumas, and Dupleix had con- 
tributed to erect : it dissipated all the hopes of Lally : 
it sealed the fate of Pondichery.' As an immediate 
consequence, Arcot, Devikota, Karikal fell into the 
hands of the English. In September Pondichery was 
invested. On the 15th of January following it sur- 
rendered. Lally, taken prisoner, was sent to England. 
Learning there that the most shameless charges were 
preferred against him by the Franco-Indian colony 
which had thwarted him in India, he asked and 
obtained permission to return to France to defend 
himself. But there the influences of the governing 
clique, always powerful, were too strong He was 
condemned on the most casual evidence x , and after 
three years of lingering agony was condemned to be 
beheaded. On May 8, 1766, he was transferred from 
prison to a dung-cart, and with a gag thrust into his 
mouth, was taken through the streets of Paris to the 
scaffold. The Directors of the Company of the Indies 
had prevailed against him as they had prevailed 
against Dupleix. It was not till some years later 
that the incessant exertions of his son, the famous 
Lally-Tollendal, obtained the rehabilitation of the 
memory of his father. 

But there was yet to be another and a final attempt 
to restore the policy of Dupleix in Southern India. 

1 Vide History of the French in India, p. 560. 


The Treaty of Paris, signed February 10, 1763, had 
restored Pondichery to France, but it was Pondichery 
dismantled, beggared, bereft of all her influence. 
During the fifteen years that followed that humili- 
ating treaty, Pondichery had been forced to witness, 
without attempting to prevent it, the aggrandisement 
of her rival. Even when, in 1778, the war between 
France and England was renewed in Europe, the 
Government of France was ill-prepared to assert a 
claim for independence, still less for dominion, for her 
Indian possessions. 

The natural results followed. Chandarnagar sur- 
rendered without striking a blow (July 10, 1778). 
Pondichery, ably defended for forty days against 
vastly superior forces, was captured in the month of 
September following. The French fleet, commanded 
by M. de Tronjoly, abandoned the Indian waters 
without even attempting to save Mahd All seemed 
lost; when suddenly the genius of Haidar All, the 
ruler of Mysore, gave a turn to events which upset 
the most careful calculations, and communicated to 
his French allies the most brilliant hopes. 

On the 4th of April, 1769, Haidar Ali dictated 
peace to the English under the walls of Madras. By 
one of the articles of this treaty the contracting 
parties bound themselves to assist one another in 
defensive wars. But when, during the following year, 
Haidar was attacked by the Marathas, and called 
upon the English to fulfil their contract, the English 


Haidar never forgave this breach of faith. When, 
some nine years later, he heard of the war between 
France and England, and noticed that the English 
were likewise embroiled with the Marathas in Western 
India, he took his revenge. Under the pretext that 
the capture of Mah^ was a breach of the treaty exist- 
ing with him, he declared war, out-manoeuvred Sir 
Hector Munro, destroyed Baillie's detachment of 3720 
men (September 9 and 10, 1780), captured Arcot, and 
seemed to threaten Madras itself. 

Haidar had not been unmindful of the advantages 
which might accrue to him from an alliance with 
France. Early in the year he had caused information 
to be sent to Paris of his intentions to crush the 
English out of Southern India, a result, he said, which 
would be certain if France would only assist him. 
But the Ministers of Louis XVI, discouraged by the 
results of their former attempts in India, and possibly 
distrusting the power of Haidar Ali, turned a deaf 
ear to his solicitations, and contented themselves with 
despatching a squadron to defend the Isles of France 
and Bourbon. But it soon appeared that such a 
squadron, if commanded by a man of energy, was 
sufficient to turn the scale in India. 

The squadron, commanded by M. Duchemin, found 
at Port Louis the officer commanding on the Indian 
station, the Chevalier d'Orves. D'Orves at once 
assumed command, and with the six men-of-war, one 
frigate, and two corvettes, carrying one of the finest 
regiments in the French army, sailed for the Indian 



waters. He arrived off the Coromandel coast 
towards the end of January. I shall now proceed to 
show how, had he possessed the smallest modicum of 
sense or energy, had he not been the worst officer who 
ever commanded a fleet, he might have compelled the 
surrender of the only available English force in 
Southern India. It was an opportunity such as 
Fortune but rarely offers, and which only a fool or a 
coward refuses. 

Haidar Ali, having out-manoeuvred Munro, beaten 
Baillie, and captured Arcot, had laid siege to Wandi- 
wash, Vellore, Ambur, Permakol, and Chengalpat. 
He had compelled the surrender of Ambur when he 
heard that Sir Eyre Coote, whom Warren Hastings, 
with his wonted prescience, had despatched to restore 
the British fortunes in Southern India, had left Madras 
the previous day with the intention of attacking him. 
Haidar, who had the true instinct of a general, at 
once massed his forces, and so manoeuvred as to 
interpose between Coote and Madras. Coote, careless 
of this, was bent only on reaching Pondichery, from 
which place the French had managed to expel the 
small English garrison. Haidar followed him, care- 
fully occupying the strong places on the way. At 
length, on the 8th of February, he came close up 
with the English force near Gudalur, that force being 
nearest the sea, whilst Haidar, marching almost 
parallel to it, commanded the country inland. Coote, 
in fact, was between Haidar and the sea, the strong 
places in front of him and behind him occupied by 


his enemies. His supplies were exhausted, but he 
was expecting these in vessels which had been sent 
from Madras to Gudalur. Turning on that eventful 
morning his longing eyes towards the sea to spy, if he 
could, the expected vessels, Coote saw, and Haidar 
saw, not the English flag, but the squadron of the 
Chevalier d'Orves, guarding the coast and cutting off 
from the English army all chances of supply. Coote, 
a capable soldier, recognised at once the hopelessness 
of his position. The only chance of escape was to 
force Haidar to a battle. He tried every expedient 
to draw the Asiatic warrior. But Haidar was too 
wary. He recognised the position as clearly as did 
Coote, and he was not to be drawn. 

Haidar knew, in fact, that, barring accidents, Coote 
must surrender. He therefore communicated with 
D'Orves, and begged him to land the regiment he had 
with him, pointing out to him that the only army 
possessed by England in Southern India was at his 
mercy, and that Madras was garrisoned by but five 
hundred invalids. 

Never had France such an opportunity. It was an 
absolute certainty. There was neither risk nor chance 
about it. The English fleet under Sir Edward Hughes 
was off the western coast. D'Orves had but to remain 
quietly where he was for a few days and the English 
force must be starved into surrender. Sir Eyre Coote 
saw it, Haidar All saw it, every man in the army saw it: 
every man with the squadron, one only excepted, saw 
it. The exception was D'Orves himself. But little 

M 2 


was required of him. He, the representative of 
France on the Indian seas, had but to ride at anchor 
where he was in the finest season of the year, a season 
when storms are unknown in the Indian seas, and 
watch the enemies of his country surrender or starve 
— and he would not. Despite the protestations of 
Haidar and the murmurs of his crews, D'Orves sailed 
for the islands the 15th of February, taking every 
man he had brought with him. His departure saved 
Coote. A few days later English vessels arrived with 
provisions from Madras. 

Haidar, thus left to himself, fought Coote on the 1st 
July at Chilambaram, and, after a hardly contested 
battle, was beaten. On the 27th August following, he 
engaged the English general at Parambakam, and this 
time not unequally. He leffc> however, to Coote the 
honour of the field of battle. On the 1 8th of February 
following (1782), Tipu Sahib, the eldest son of Haidar, 
compelled Colonel Braithwaite\s detachment, after 
three days' hard fighting, to surrender. It was about 
the period of this last encounter that France made her 
third and last effort to take up the dropped policy of 
Dupleix. She despatched to the Indian seas a power- 
ful squadron under the greatest of her admirals, the 
illustrious Suffren, and nearly 3000 men under Bussy. 
Pending the arrival of Bussy, the land force was placed 
under the orders of the Duchemin already mentioned. 

Leaving Suffren and the English admiral, Sir 
Edward Hughes, to fight four or five indecisive battles 
off the Coromandel coast, I propose to follow very 


briefly the fortunes of Duchemin. It was just a 
chance that at this decisive period, pending the arrival 
of the real commander, the charge of the French 
troops should have devolved on a man who dreaded 
nothing so much as responsibility. Had a real soldier 
commanded that force — and there was one there 
serving in the ranks, the Bernadotte who afterwards 
became a Marshal of France and King of Sweden — 
the fate of Southern India would for a time have been 

Duchemin and his troops had disembarked at Porto 
Novo the 20th of April. It had been arranged between 
Suffren and Haidar that a corps of 6000 native 
infantry and 4000 cavalry from the Mysore army 
should join the French force, form with it an army- 
corps, and as such, should, under Duchemin's orders, 
co-operate with Haidar' s main army, the latter 
furnishing it with money and supplies. This arrange- 
ment took effect, and Duchemin, after re-taking 
Gudalur, joined Haidar at Permakol, whence they 
marched to take a position before Wandiwash. 

The English force, still commanded by Coote, con- 
sisted of 12,000 men, of whom only 2000 were 
Europeans. Coote himself was in feeble health, but 
his spirit, always daring, was as resolute as it was on 
the day when he voted against Clive to fight at 

His situation was a dangerous one. Before him 
was an army of 60,000 men, led by the best native 
general who has ever been seen in India, backed by a 

1 82 DUPLE IX 

corps of upwards of 2000 Frenchmen. It seemed 
probable that before that force Wandiwash must 
fall. Now it was everything to Coote to prevent the 
fall of Wandiwash. He marched, then, with his 
inferior force, and offered battle to Haidar and 
Duchemin. It was a daring, even a rash offer. He 
was over-matched in the three arms, and, considering 
the enormously preponderating numbers of the enemy's 
cavalry, defeat would have been ruin. Haidar saw 
the advantage, and pressed upon Duchemin to prepare 
his men for battle. The very reasons which made it 
rash to Coote to offer battle incited Haidar, and 
should have incited Duchemin, to accept it. But the 
responsibility weighed down Duchemin to the earth. 
He was only acting-commander, for Bussy had not 
arrived : and he had not the nerve to accept the gift 
which a too kind Fortune placed within his reach. 
Haidar, disgusted with his ally, fell back on Kalinur, 
near Pondichery. Watching thence the operations of 
Coote, he learned that the English General was about 
to attempt Ami. In Ami he had stored his magazines 
and ammunition. On no account must Ami be lost. 
Leaving then Duchemin and his corps behind him, 
he proceeded by forced marches to intercept Coote; 
caught him, and though he failed to defeat him, 
baffled his design on Ami. Four days later he 
enticed a detachment of Coote' s army into an ambus- 
cade, and cut it up. Coote then retired on Madras, 
and Haidar laid siege to Vellore. 

Before Bussy could reach India, Haidar had died. 


When at last, March 19, Bussy did arrive, it was soon 
recognised that he was not the same Bussy who had 
won and had maintained for many years a commanding 
position at the Court of the Subahdar of the Decean. 
The Bussy who landed in Gudalur in March, 1783, 
was a gouty gourmand who would undertake no- 
thing and sanction nothing. He remained invisible 
in his tent, whilst he allowed an English army, in- 
ferior in the number of its Europeans, to blockade 
him in Gudalur. He was in this position when the 
news arrived that peace between England and France 
had been signed. The moment was fortunate for the 
English commander. Suffren had just driven the 
English squadron from the coast : the supplies in the 
English camp were exhausted. Had Bussy declined 
to accede to an armistice, the English army must 
have surrendered l . 

But it was not to be. Bussy accepted the armistice 
with alacrity, and the Peace of Versailles soon after 
formally put an end to the war. 

Since that period France has renounced all open 
attempts to found a French Empire in India. For 
nearly twenty years later, by permitting her children 
to enlist in the service of native princes, to disci- 
pline their armies and to show them how to occupy 

1 Professor H. H. Wilson writes on this subject : ' It seems prob- 
able that but for the opportune occurrence of peace with France the 
South of India would have been lost to the English.' For a de- 
tailed account of the proceedings at this period vide the author's 
Final French Struggles in India and on the Indian Seas. W. H. Allen 
and Co. 

1 84 DUPLE IX 

defensive positions, she continued to foster the feeling 
of hostility which Dupleix had been the first to in- 
spire. Within that period also she lured the ruler of 
Mysore to those open demonstrations against Eng- 
land which the genius of Marquess Wellesley turned 
to his destruction. But not even when she stood 
alone against the combined force of Napoleon and 
his allies, did the ruler of France dare openly to 
attack the Empire, the conception of which had 
originated in the brain of Dupleix, but which Clive, 
Warren Hastings, and Wellesley had gained for Eng- 
land. That the conception was the conception of 
Dupleix cannot be denied. It was with him a well- 
thought-out calculation, an organised scheme, an end 
to be attained by patient striving. It was long before 
the English regarded it in that aspect. Contented 
with having defeated the plans of Dupleix they were 
ready to fall back upon their role of merchants. The 
quasi-imperial idea came to Clive only when he re- 
cognised that unless the English should crush Suraju- 
d-daulah, Suraju-d-daulah would crush the English. 
But how far, even after his victory, even after the 
annexation of Bengal and Behar, Clive was from 
having adopted the entire programme of Dupleix, 
was shown by the earnest injunctions he laid upon 
his successor not to advance the frontier beyond the 
point at which he had left it l . Action of the same 

1 ' Our possessions should be bounded by the provinces (Bengal 
and Behar). Studiously maintain peace, it is the groundwork of 
our prosperity. Never consent to act offensively against any Powers, 


character as that which had forced the hand of Clive, 
forced subsequently the hand of Warren Hastings; 
and later still, the hand of Wellesley. Vainly did 
Cornwallis, and Teignmouth, and Adam, and Minto 
try to stop the inevitable march forward. Such a 
march was the certain ultimate consequence of the 
establishment of a factory on the Hugli by a dominant 
race. There was no middle point between crushing 
or being crushed. The possibility of succeeding in 
the former process was first demonstrated by Dupleix, 
when he declined to surrender Madras to the Nuwab 
of the Karnatik. The defeat his general inflicted 
upon the Nuwab's troops on the Adyar, not only 
reversed the moral position of the European and the 
Asiatic in India, but it revealed to his soaring and 
receptive mind the possibility of bringing the whole 
of Southern India under French domination. Had 
France but seconded him, who can say that his dream 
might not have been realised? It remains only to 
us, whilst concluding this record of his splendid 
struggles to that end, and his glorious and unmerited 
failure, to admit to the full the contention of M. 
Xavier Eaymond, which, though already quoted, 
may well bear repetition. ' England has been much 

except in defence of our own, the King's (of Delhi), or the ftuwab- 
Wazir's dominions, as stipulated by treaty ; and, above all things, 
be assured that a march to Delhi would be not only a vain and 
fruitless project, but attended with destruction to your own army, 
and perhaps put a period to the very being of the Company in 
Bengal.' Minute of Lord Clive, given in extenso by Mr. Talboys 
Wheeler in his Early Records of British India. 

1 86 DUPLE IX 

admired and often cited for having resolved that great 
problem of how to govern, at a distance of 4000 
leagues, with some hundreds of civil functionaries 
and some thousands of soldiers, her immense posses- 
sions in India. If there is much that is wonderful, 
much that is bold and daring, much political genius 
in the idea, it must be admitted that the honour of 
inaugurating it belonged to Dupleix, and that England, 
which is reaping the profit and the glory, has had 
but to follow the path which the Genius of France 
opened out to her.' 


Arcot, Clive's capture and re- 
tention of, p. 113. 

Astruc, is defeated by Colonel 
Lawrence, 139-42: again, 

Brennier, is defeated by Colonel 
Lawrence before Trichinopoli, 


Bussy, storms Gingi, 87 : ac- 
companies Muzaffar Jang to 
Aurangabad, 94 : prudent con- 
duct of, on Muzaffar Jang's 
death, 95-6 : gains the North- 
ern Sirkars and ceded districts, 
140 : letter of, to Dupleix, 
162-3 s returns to India, but 
effects nothing, 18 1-3. 

Caron, adventures of, 13-16. 

Chanda Sahib, becomes Nuw£b 
of the Karnatik, 75 : foolish 
delays of, 76 : deviates from 
the plan of Dupleix, 80 : acts 
with the French before Trichi- 
nopoli, 102-22 : death of, 123. 

Cltve, Kobert, first mention of, 
108 : earlier career of, 109 : 
proposes to Saunders to make 
a diversion, 1 1 1 : captures and 
defends Arcot, 113: gains a 
decisive victory at Kaveripak, 
116 : leaves for Europe, 130. 

Coote, Eyre, beats Lally at Wan- 
diwash, 1 75: is out-manoeuvred 
by Haidar All, 178: fights 
battles with him, 180-2. 

D'Orves, has a splendid chance 
of forcing the English army to 
surrender, and throws it away, 

Dumas, administration of, at 
Pondichery, 28-34. 

Dupleix, early career of, 35 : 
action of, at Chandarnagar, 
36-8 : proceeds to Pondichery 
as Governor, 39 : system of, 
40 : fortifies Pondichery, 41 : 
commercial policy of, 42 : 
differences with La Bourdon- 
nais, 51 : resolves to retain 

Madras, 53 : the troops of, re* 
pulse the Karnatik soldiers, 
55 : vain efforts of, to expel 
the English, 58-63 : is besieged 
by, and repulses, the English, 
64-7 : position of, after the 
Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 68 : 
assists Muzaffar Jang and 
Chanda Sahib, 73-4: schemes 
of, baffled, 80, 82-3 : represses 
the mutiny of his troops, 83-4 : 
intrigues with the Deccan 
nobles, 84 : triumph of the 
policy of, 94-7 : hit hard by 
Clive's diversion, sends every 
available man to assist Law 
before Trichinopoli, 114: agony 
of, at Law's ineptitude, 118: 
consequent failure of the policy 
of, 1 2 2-3 : wonderful recupera- 
tive power of the genius of, 
1 24-6 : learns of the entire loss 
of the troops coming from 
France, 131 : improvises fresh 
resources, 134: baffles Law- 
rence, 135 : again attempts 
Trichinopoli, 137: becomes un- 
popular in France, 145 : opens 
negotiations with Saunders, 
146 : which fail, 147 : agrees to 
a congress, 151: his imperi- 
ousness provokes failure, 153 : 
is superseded by Godeheu, 158 : 
summary of achievements of, 
160 : last days of, 163-5. 

France, first inducements of, to 
trade to India, 7. 

French, the, troops in India, 
action of, before Tanjore, 80 : 
mutiny, 82-3 : defeat Nadir 
Jang, 85 : and Muhammad All, 
86 : baffle the English before 
Volkonda, 102-3 • want of a 
man to command, 104: sur- 
render before Trichinopoli, 
122: baffle Kinneer but are 
beaten by Lawrence, 127-9: 
various battles of, before Tri- 
chinopoli, 137-51. 



Godeheu, relieves Dupleix, 158 : 
conduct of, 159-62 : renounces 
all that Dupleix had fought 
for, 167 : is relieved by De 
Leyrit, 168. 

Haidar Ali dictates peace to the 
English under the walls of 
Madras, 176: forms an alli- 
ance with the French, 177: 
out-manoeuvres Coote, 178 : 
brilliant campaign, and death 
of, 178-82. 

Karna'tik, Nuwabs of the, 30, 45, 
53 : revolution in the, 75 : 
Chan da S&hib becomes Nuwab 
of the, 76 : Muhammad Ali 
becomes finally Nuwab of the, 
1 21-3. 

Kaveripak, battle of, 116. 

La Bourdonnais, earlier career 
of, 46 : arrives off Pondichery 
with his squadron, 48 : sails for 
Madras, 51 : takes Madras, 52. 

Lally, Count, takes a force to 
India, 1 70 : meets hostility and 
incompetence in the French 
officials, 171 : misfortunes and 
mistakes of, 172-3 : repulse of, 
from Madras, 173: defeat of, 
at Wandiwash, 174-5 : tragic 
end of, 175. 

Law of Lauriston, effects of the 
speculations of, on the Com- 
pany of the Indies, 23-26. 

Law, nephew of Law of Lauris- 
ton, appointed to command 
the French troops, 107 : feeble- 
ness of, 107, 114, Ti 5, 119, 120, 
121 : surrender of, 122-3. 

Lawrence, Colonel, attacks Devi- 
kota, 78 : joins Nadir Jang, 81 : 
defeats the French, 129: eludes 
the vigilance of Dupleix, and 
marches to relieve Trichino- 
poli, 137 : defeats Astruc, 139- 
42 : and Brennier, 143 : and 
Astruc again, t 44-5 : and holds 
Trichinopoli to the last, 150. 

Lenoir, administration of, at 
Pondichery, 26-8. 

Madagascar, early transactions 
of France with, 8-14. 

Madras, early sketch of, 43 : is 
taken by the French, 52 : 
Maphuz Khan is repulsed 
from, 55 : restored by the 
Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 67 : 
is invested by, and repulses, 
Lally, 173. 

Mainvllle, almost succeeds in 
surprising Trichinopoli, 149- 
50 : surprises an English force, 

Martin, Francis, founds Pondi- 
chery, 17 : great administra- 
tion of, 17-23. 

Mercara, adventures of, 14-5. 

Muhammad Ali, is recognised by 
the English as Nuwab of the 
Karnatik, 81 : is defeated by 
the French, 86 : triumphs at 
Trichinopoli, 12 1-3. 

Muzaffar Jang, claims to the 
Subahdar of the Deccan, 73 : 
is taken prisoner by Nidar 
Jang, 83 : becomes Subahdar, 
90 : gifts of, to Dupleix, 90 : 
is killed, 94. 

Paradis, defeats Maphuz Khan 
near St. Thome, 55-7 : death 
of, 66. 

Pondichery, founded by Martin, 
17 : besieged by the English, 
65-7 : besieged and taken by 
the English, 175: restored, 

St. Thome, battle of, 55-7. 

Saunders, Mr., Governor at Fort 
St. David, listens to Clive's 
proposals, 1 1 1 : negotiates with 
Dupleix, 146 : agrees to a Con- 
gress, 151. 

Touche, de la, defeats Nadir 
Jang, 84-5 : completely defeats 
Nadir Jang, who is killed, 89 : 
leaves for Europe, 93: is burnt, 
with all his troops, on board 
the ' Prince/ 131. 

Trichinopoli, contest for empire 
before, 101-151. 




Edited by Sir W. W. Hunter, K.C.S.I., M.A., LL.D. 

The following 28 volumes have been already published : — 


by Sir William Wilson Hunter, K.C.S.I. Twenty-second 
Edition ; Eighty-fourth thousand. Price 35. 6d. 

II. BABAR: the Founder of the Mughal Dynasty. By Stanley 
Lane-Poole, Esq., M.A., Professor of Arabic, Trinity 
College, Dublin; Author of The Life of Lord Stratford 
de Redcliffe. 2s. 6d. 

III. AKBAR: and the Rise of the Mughal Empire, by Colonel 

Malleson, C.S.I., Author of A History of the Indian Mutiny ; 
The History of Afghanistan. Fifth thousand. 2s. 6d. 

IV. ALBUQUERQUE : and the Early Portuguese Settlements in 

India, by H. Morse Stephens, Esq., M.A., Balliol College, 
formerly Lecturer on Indian History at Cambridge, Author 
of The French Revolution; The Story of Portugal, Sfc. 
Third thousand. 2s. 6d. 

V. AURANGZtB : and the Decay of the Mughal Empire, by 
Stanley Lane-Poole, Esq., M.A., Author of The Coins of 
the Mughal Emperors; The Life of Stratford Canning ; 
Catalogue of Indian Coins in the British Museum, dec. 
Third Thousand. 2s. 6d. 

VI. MADHAVA RAO SIN D HI A : and the Hindtl Reconquest of 
India, by H. G. Keene, Esq., M.A., CLE., Author of The 
Moghul Empire, &c. Third Thousand. 2s. 6d. 

VII. LORD CLIVE: and the Establishment of the English in 
India, by Colonel Malleson, C.S.I. Third Thousand. 
28. 6d. 

VIII. DUPLEIX : and the Struggle for India by the European 
Nations, by Colonel Malleson, C.S.I., Author of The 
History of the French in India, dc. Fifth Thousand. 2s. 6d. 


JX. WARREN HASTINGS: and the Founding of the British 
Administration, by Captain L. J. Trotter, Author of India 
under Victoria, dc. Fifth thousand. 2*. 6d. 

X. THE MARQUESS CORNWALLIS : and the Consolida- 
tion of British Rule, by W. S. Seton-Karr, Esq., sometime 
Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, Author of 
Selections from the Calcutta Gazettes, 3 vols. (1 784-1 805). 
Fourth thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XI. HAIDAR Alt AND TlPti SULTAN : andthe Struggle with 
the Muhammadan Powers of the South, by Lewin Bentham 
Bowring, Esq., C.S.I., sometime Private Secretary to the 
Viceroy (Lord Canning) and Chief Commissioner of Mysore, 
Author of Eastern Experiences. Third thousand. 2s. 6<1 

XII. THE MARQUESS WELLES LEY : and the Development 
of the Company into the Supreme Power in India, by the 
Rev. W. H. Hutton, B.D., Fellow and Tutor of St. John's 
College, Oxford. Third thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XIII. THE MARQUESS OF HASTINGS: and the Final Overthrow 
of the Mardthd Power, by Major Ross of Bladensburg, 
C.B., Coldstream Guards; F.R.G.S. 2s. 6d. 

South-Western India, by J. S. Cotton, Esq., M.A., formerly 
Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, Author of The Decennial 
Statement of the Moral and Material Progress and Condition 
of India, presented to Parliament (1885), &c. Third 
thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XV. SIR THOMAS MUNRO : and the British Settlement of the 
Madras Presidency, by John Bradshaw, Esq., M.A., LL.D., 
late Inspector of Schools, Madras. 2s. 6d. 

XVI. EARL AMHERST: and the British Advance eastwards 
to Burma, chiefly from unpublished papers of the Amherst 
family, by Mrs. Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Author of 
Old Kensington, dec, and Richardson Evans, Esq. 2s. 6d. 


XVII. LORD WILLIAM BEN TIN CK: and the Company as a 
Governing and Non-trading Power ; by Demetrius Boulger, 
Esq., Author of England and Russia in Central Asia; The 
History of China, &c. Third thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XVIII. EARL OF AUCKLAND: and the First Afghan War, by 
Captain L. J. Trotter, Author of India under Victoria, &c. 
25. 6d. 

XIX. VISCOUNT HARDIN GE : and the Advance of the British 

Dominions into the Punjab, by his Son and Private Secretary, 
the Right Hon. Viscount Hardinge. Third thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XX. RAN JIT SINGH: and the Silch Barrier between our Growing 

Empire and Central Asia, by Sir Lepel Griffin, K.C.S.I., 
Author of The Punjab Chiefs, &c* Fourth thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XXI. JOHN RUSSELL COLVIN: the last Lieutenant-Governor 
of the North-Western Provinces under the Company, by his 
son, Sir Auckland Colvin, K.C.S.I., late Lieutenant-Governor 
of the North-Western Provinces. 2s. 6d. 

Development of the Company's Rule, by Sir William Wilson 
Hunter, K.C.S.I., M.A. Seventh thousand. 25. 6d. 

XXIII. CLYDE AND STRATHNAIRN: and the Suppression of 

the Great Revolt, by Major-General Sir Owen Tudor 
Burne, K.C.S.I., sometime Military Secretary to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief in India. Fourth thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XXIV. EARL CANNING: and the Transfer of India from the 

Company to the Crown, by Sir Henry S. Cunningham, 
K.C.I.E., M.A., Author of British India and its Rulers, &c. 

Fourth thousand. 2s. 6d. 

XXV. L ORD LA WRENCE : and the Reconstruction of India under 
the Crown, by Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison, K.C.S.I., 
LL.D., formerly Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, 
and Lieu tenant-Governor of the Punjab. Fourth thousand. 2*. 6d. 


XXVI. THE EARL OF MAYO : and the Consolidation of the 
Queen's Rule in India, by Sir William Wilson Hunter, 
K.C.S.I., M.A., LL.D. Third thousand. 2s. 6d. 

Supplementary Volumes. 

XXVII. JAMES THOMASON : and the British Settlement of North- 

Western India, by Sir Richard Temple, Bart., M.P., formerly 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, and Governor of Bombay 
Price 3s. 6d, 

XXVIII. SIR HENRY LA WRENCE : The Pacificator. By Lieut.- 

General J. J. M c Leod Innes, R.E., V.C. Price 3*. 6d. 

The Clarendon Press History of India, 3s. 6d, 


Standard Edition (Twenty-second), revised to 1895. 
Eighty-fourth Thousand. 

This Edition incorporates the suggestions received by the author 
from Directors of Public Instruction and other educational authorities 
in India; its statistics are brought down to the Census of 1891 ; and 
its narrative to 1892. The work has received the emphatic approval 
of the organ of the English School Boards, and has been translated 
into five languages. It is largely employed for educational purposes in 
Europe and America and as a text-book prescribed by the University 
of Calcutta for its Entrance Examination from 1886 to 1891. 

' " A Brief History of the Indian Peoples," by W. W. Hunter, pre- 
sents a sort of bird's-eye view both of India and of its people from the 
earliest dawn of historical records. ... A work of authority and of 
original value.' — The Daily News (London). 

' Dr. Hunter may be said to have presented a compact epitome of the 
results of his researches into the early history of India ; a subject upon 
which his knowledge is at once exceptionally wide and exceedingly 
thorough.' — The Scotsman. 

1 Within the compass of some 250 pages we know of no history of the 
people of India so concise, so interesting, and so useful for educational 
purposes as this.' — The School Board Chronicle (London). 

1 For its size and subject there is not a better written or more trust- 
worthy history in existence.' — The Journal of Education. 

1 So thoroughly revised as to entitle it to separate notice.' — The Times. 

' Dr. Hunter's history, if brief, is comprehensive. It is a storehouse 
of facts marshalled in a masterly style ; and presented, as history 
should be, without the slightest suspicion of prejudice or suggestion of 
partisanship. Dr. Hunter observes a style of severe simplicity, which 
is the secret of an impressive presentation of details.' — The Daily 
Review (Edinburgh). 

1 By far the best manual of Indian History that has hitherto been 
published, and quite equal to any of the Historical Series for Schools 
edited by Dr. Freeman. We trust that it will soon be read in all the 
schools in this Presidency.' — The Times of India. 

Extract from a criticism by Edward Giles, Esq., Inspector of Schools, 
Northern Division, Bombay Presidency: — ' What we require is a 
book which shall be accurate as to facts, but not overloaded with 
them ; written in a style which shall interest, attract, and guide un- 
cultivated readers ; and short, because it must be sold at a reasonable 
price. These conditions have never, in my opinion, been realized 
previous to the introduction of this book/ 

1 The publication of the Hon. W. W. Hunter's " School History of 
India " is an event in literary history.' — Reis & Rayyet (Calcutta). 

' He has succeeded in writing a history of India, not only in such a 
way that it will be read, but also in a way which we hope will lead 
young Englishmen and young natives of India to think more kindly 
of each other. The Calcutta University has done wisely in prescribing 
this brief history as a text-book for the Entrance Examination.' — The 
Hindoo Patriot (Calcutta). 

Opinions of tfjc Iptess 



Fourth Edition. Seventh Thousand. 

1 An interesting and exceedingly readable volume Sir William 

Hunter has produced a valuable work about an important epoch in 
English history in India, and he has given us a pleasing insight into 
the character of a remarkable Englishman. The " Rulers of India" 
series, which he has initiated, thus makes a successful beginning in his 
hands with one who ranks among the greatest of the great names which 
will be associated with the subject.' — The Times. 

1 To no one is the credit for the improved condition of public intelli- 
gence [regarding India] more due than to Sir William Hunter. From 
the beginning of his career as an Indian Civilian he has devoted a rare 
literary faculty to the task of enlightening his countrymen on the subject 
of England's greatest dependency. . . . By inspiring a small army of 
fellow-labourers with his own spirit, by inducing them to conform to his 
own method, and shaping a huge agglomeration of facts into a lucid and 
intelligible system, Sir W. Hunter has brought India and its innumer- 
able interests within the pale of achievable knowledge, and has given 
definite shape to the truths which its history establishes and the 
problems which it suggests. . . . Such contributions to literature are apt to 
be taken as a matter of course, because their highest merit is to conceal 
the labour, and skill, and knowledge involved in their production ; but 
they raise the whole level of public intelligence, and generate an 
atmosphere in which the baleful influences of folly, ignorance, prejudice, 
and presumption dwindle and disappear.' — Saturday Review. 

' Admirably calculated to impart in a concise and agreeable form a clear 
general outline of the history of our great Indian Empire.' — Economist. 

1 A skilful and most attractive picture. . . . The author has made good 
use of public and private documents, and has enjoyed the privilege of 
being aided by the deceased statesman's family. His little work is, 
consequently, a valuable contribution to modern history. 5 — Academy. 

' The book should command a wide circle of readers, not only for its 
author's sake and that of its subject, but partly at least on account of 
the very attractive way in which it has been published at the moderate 
price of half-a-crown. But it is, of course, by its intrinsic merits alone 
that a work of this nature should be judged. And those merits are 
everywhere conspicuous. ... A writer whose thorough mastery of all 
Indian subjects has been acquired by years of practical experience and 
patient research.' — The Athenceum. 

1 Never have we been so much impressed by the great literary abilities 
of Sir William Hunter as we have been by the perusal of "The Marquess 
of Dalhousie." . . . The knowledge displayed by the writer of the motives 
of Lord Dalhousie's action, of the inner working of his mind, is so com- 
plete, that Lord Dalhousie himself, were he living, could not state them 
more clearly. . . . Sir William Hunter's style is so clear, his language 
so vivid, and yet so simple, conveying the impressions he wishes so per- 
spicuously that they cannot but be understood, that the work must have 
a place in every library, in every home, we might say indeed every 
cottage.' — Evening News. 

* Sir William Hunter has written an admirable little volume on 
" The Marquess of Dalhousie " for his series of the " Rulers of India." 
It can be read at a sitting, yet its references — expressed or implied — 
suggest the study and observation of half a life-time.' — The Daily News. 

©pinions of t&e Press 



Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

1 Sir William W. Hunter has contributed a brief but admirable 
biography of the Earl of Mayo to the series entitled " Rulers of India," 
edited by himself (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press).' — The Times. 

1 In telling this story in the monograph before us, Sir William 
Hunter has combined his well-known literary skill with an earnest 
sympathy and fulness of knowledge which are worthy of all commenda- 
tion. . . . The world is indebted to the author for a fit and attractive 
record of what was eminently a noble life.' — The Academy. 

1 The sketch of The Man is full of interest, drawn as it is with com- 
plete sympathy, understanding, and appreciation. But more valuable 
is the account of his administration. No one can show so well and 
clearly as Sir William Hunter does what the policy of Lord Mayo con- 
tributed to the making of the Indian Empire of to-day.' — The Scotsman. 

e Sir William Hunter has given us a monograph in which there is a 
happy combination of the essay and the biography. We are presented 
with the main features of Lord Mayo's administration unencumbered 
with tedious details which would interest none but the most official of 
Anglo-Indians; while in the biography the man is brought before us, 
not analytically, but in a life-like portrait.' — Vanity Fair. 

' The story of his life Sir W. W. Hunter tells in well-chosen language 
— clear, succinct, and manly. Sir W. W. Hunter is in sympathy with 
his subject, and does full justice to Mayo's strong, genuine nature. 
Without exaggeration and in a direct, unaffected style, as befits his 
theme, he brings the man and his work vividly before us.' — The 
Glasgow Herald. 

1 All the knowledge acquired by personal association, familiarity with 
administrative details of the Indian Government, and a strong grasp of 
the vast problems to be dealt with, is utilised in this presentation of 
Lord Mayo's personality and career. Sir W. Hunter, however, never 
overloads his pages, and the outlines of the sketch are clear and firm.* 
— The Manchester Express. 

1 This is another of the " Rulers of India " series, and it will be hard 
to beat. ... Sir William Hunter's perception and expression are here at 
their very best.' — The Pall Mall Gazette. 

'The latest addition to the "Rulers of India" series yields to none of 
its predecessors in attractiveness, vigour, and artistic portraiture. . . . 
The final chapter must either be copied verbally and literally — which 
the space at our disposal will not permit — or be left to the sorrowful 
perusal of the reader. The man is not to be envied who can read it with 
dry eyes.' — Allen f s Indian Mail. 

* The little volume which has just been brought out is a study of Lord 
Mayo's career by one who knew all about it and was in full sympathy 
with it. . . . Some of these chapters are full of spirit and fire. The 
closing passages, the picture of the Viceroy's assassination, cannot fail 
to make any reader hold his breath. We know what is going to 
happen, but we are thrilled as if we did not know it, and were still 
held in suspense. The event itself was so terribly tragic that any 
ordinary description might seem feeble and laggard. But in this 
volume we are made to feel as we must have felt if we had been on 
the spot and seen the murderer " fastened like a tiger " on the back of 
the Viceroy.' — Daily News, Leading Article. 


)3Dpimon0 of tfce lpres0 



Third Edition. Fourth Thousand. 

'This new volume of the "Rulers of India" series keeps up to the 
high standard set by the author of " The Marquess of Dalhousie." For 
dealing with the salient passages in Lord Cornwallis's Indian career no 
one could have been better qualified than the whilom foreign secretary 
to Lord Lawrence.' — TheAthenceum. 

'We hope that the volumes on the "Rulers of India" which are 
being published by the Clarendon Press are carefully read by a large 
section of the public. There is a dense wall of ignorance still standing 
between the average Englishman and the greatest dependency of the 
Crown ; although we can scarcely hope to see it broken down altogether, 
some of these admirable biographies cannot fail to lower it a little. . . . 
Mr. Seton-Karr has succeeded in the task, and he has not only pre- 
sented a large mass of information, but he has brought it together in an 
attractive form. . . . We strongly recommend the book to all who wish 
to enlarge the area of their knowledge with reference to India.' — New 
York Herald. 

1 We have already expressed our sense of the value and timeliness of 
the series of Indian historical retrospects now issuing, under the editor- 
ship of Sir W. W. Hunter, from the Clarendon Press. It is somewhat 
less than fair to say of Mr. Seton-Karr's monograph upon Cornwallis 
that it reaches the high standard of literary workmanship which that 
series has maintained.' — The Literary World. 


' The story of the Burmese War, its causes and its issues, is re-told 
with excellent clearness and directness.' — Saturday Review. 

* Perhaps the brightest volume in the valuable series to which it 
belongs. . . . The chapter on " The English in India in Lord Amherst's 
Governor-Generalship " should be studied by those who wish to under- 
stand how the country was governed in 1824.' — Quarterly Review. 

( There are some charming pictures of social life, and the whole book 
is good reading, and is a record of patience, skill and daring. The 
public should read it, that it may be chary of destroying what has been 
so toilsomely and bravely acquired.' — National Observer. 

* The book will be ranked among the best in the series, both on 
account of the literary skill shown in its composition and by reason of 
the exceptional interest of the material to which the authors have had 
access.' — St. James's Gazette. 

Opinions of t&e Press 



Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

' There is no period in Eastern history so full of sensation as the 
reign of Aurangzfb. . . . Mr. Lane-Poole tells this story admirably ; 
indeed, it were difficult to imagine it better told.' — National Observer. 

' Mr. Lane-Poole writes learnedly, lucidly, and vigorously. . . . He 
draws an extremely vivid picture of Aurangzib, his strange ascetic 
character, his intrepid courage, his remorseless overthrow of his 
kinsmen, his brilliant court, and his disastrous policy ; and he describes 
the gradual decline of the Mogul power from AWbar to Aurangzib 
with genuine historical insight.' — Times. 

'A well-knit and capable sketch of one of the most remarkable, 
perhaps the most interesting, of theMogulEmperors/ — Saturday Review. 

' As a study of the man himself, Mr. Lane-Poole's work is marked 
by a vigour and originality of thought which give it a very exceptional 
value among works on the subject.' — Glasgow Herald. 

'The most popular and most picturesque account that has yet 
appeared ... a picture of much clearness and force.' — Globe. 

'A notable sketch, at once scholarly and interesting/ — English Mail. 

1 No one is better qualified than Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole to take up 
the history and to depict the character of the last of the great Mogul 
monarchs. . . . Aurangzib 's career is ever a fascinating study.' — 
Home News. 

' The author gives a description of the famous city of Shah Jahan, its 
palaces, and the ceremonies and pageants of which they were the scene. 
. . . Mr. Lane-Poole's well-written monograph presents all the most dis- 
tinctive features of Aurangzib 's character and career.' — Morning Post. 


1 Major Ross of Bladensburg treats his subject skilfully and attrac- 
tively, and his biography of Lord Hastings worthily sustains the high 
reputation of the Series in which it appears.' — The Times. 

i This monograph is entitled to rank with the best of the Series, the 
compiler having dealt capably and even brilliantly with his materials/ 
— English Mail. 

1 Instinct with interest.' — Glasgow Evening News. 

1 As readable as it is instructive.' — Globe. 

€ A truly admirable monograph.' — Glasgow Herald. 

s Major Ross has done his work admirably, and bids fair to be one of 
the best writers the Army of our day has given to the country. ... A 
most acceptable and entrancing little volume.' — Daily Chronicle. 

'It is a volume that merits the highest praise. Major Ross of 
Bladensburg has represented Lord Hastings and his work in India 
in the right light, faithfully described the country as it was, and in 
a masterly manner makes one realize how important was the period 
covered by this volume/ — Manchester Courier. 

6 This excellent monograph ought not to be overlooked by any one 
who would fully learn the history of British rule in India/ — Manchester 

J3Dpimon0 of tbe Pte$s 


Third Edition. Fifth Thousand, 
' In the character of Dupleix there was the element of greatness 
that contact with India seems to have generated in so many European 
minds, French as well as English, and a broad capacity for govern- 
ment, which, if suffered to have full play, might have ended in giving 
the whole of Southern India to France. Even as it was, Colonel 
Malleson shows how narrowly the prize slipped from French grasp. 
In 1783 the Treaty of Versailles arrived just in time to save the 
British power from extinction.' — Times. 

1 One of the best of Sir "W. Hunter's interesting and valuable series. 
Colonel Malleson writes out of the fulness of familiarity, moving with 
ease over a field which he had long ago surveyed in every nook and 
corner. To do a small book as well as this on Dupleix has been done, 
will be recognised by competent judges as no small achievement. 
When one considers the bulk of the material out of which the little 
volume has been distilled, one can still better appreciate the labour 
and dexterity involved in the performance.' — Academy. 

4 A most compact and effective history of the French in India in a 
little handbook of 180 pages.' — Nonconformist. 

* Well arranged, lucid and eminently readable, an excellent addition 
to a most useful series.' — Record. 


Fourth Edition. Fifth Thousand. 
1 Colonel Malleson's interesting monograph on Akbar in the "Rulers 
of India" (Clarendon Press) should more than satisfy the general 
reader. Colonel Malleson traces the origin and foundation of the 
Mughal Empire ; and, as an introduction to the history of Muhamma- 
dan India, the book leaves nothing to be desired.' — St. James's Gazette. 

'This volume will, no doubt, be welcomed, even by experts in 
Indian history, in the light of a new, clear, and terse rendering of an 
old, but not worn-out theme. It is a worthy and valuable addition 
to Sir W. Hunter's promising series.' — Athenaeum. 

4 Colonel Malleson has broken ground new to the general reader. 
The story of Akbar is briefly but clearly told, with an account of what 
he was and what he did, and how he found and how he left India. . . . 
The native chronicles of the reign are many, and from them it is still 
possible, as Colonel Malleson has shown, to construct a living portrait 
of this great and mighty potentate.' — Scots Observer. 

4 The brilliant historian of the Indian Mutiny has been assigned in 
this volume of the series an important epoch and a strong personality 
for critical study, and he has admirably fulfilled his task. . . . Alike in 
dress and style, this volume is a fit companion for its predecessor.' — 
Manchester Guardian. 

©pinions of tfre lpre0S 



Fourth Edition. Fifth Thousand. 

* The publication, recently noticed in this place, of the " Letters, 
Despatches, and other State Papers preserved in the Foreign Depart- 
ment of the Government of India, 1 772-1785," has thrown entirely new 
light from the most authentic sources on the whole history of Warren 
Hastings and his government of India. Captain L. J. Trotter's 
Warren Hastings is accordingly neither inopportune nor devoid of an 
adequate raison d'etre. Captain Trotter is well known as a competent 
and attractive writer on Indian history, and this is not the first time 
that Warren Hastings has supplied him with a theme.' — The Times. 

1 He has put his best work into this memoir. . . . His work is of 
distinct literary merit, and is worthy of a theme than which British 
history presents none nobler. It is a distinct gain to the British race 
to be enabled, as it now may, to count the great Governor-General 
among those heroes for whom it need not blush.' — Scotsman. 

1 Captain Trotter has done his work well, and his volume deserves 
to stand with that on Dalhousie by Sir William Hunter. Higher 
praise it would be hard to give it.' — New York Herald. 

1 Captain Trotter has done full justice to the fascinating story of the 
splendid achievements of a great Englishman.' — Manchester Guardian. 

'A brief but admirable biography of the first Governor-General of 
India.' — Newcastle Chronicle. 

1 A book which all must peruse who desire to be " up to date " on 
the subject.' — The Globe. 


Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

c Mr. Keene has the enormous advantage, not enjoyed by every 
producer of a book, of knowing intimately the topic he has taken up. 
He has compressed into these 203 pages an immense amount of informa- 
tion, drawn from the best sources, and presented with much neatness and 
effect.' — The Globe. 

1 Mr. Keene tells the story with knowledge and impartiality, and also 
with sufficient graphic power to make it thoroughly readable. The 
recognition of Sindhia in the " Rulers" series is just and graceful, 
and it cannot fail to give satisfaction to the educated classes of our 
Indian fellow-subjects.' — North British Daily Mail. 

' The volume bears incontestable proofs of the expenditure of con- 
siderable research by the author, and sustains the reputation he had 
already acquired by his "Sketch of the History of Hindustan."' — 
Freeman's Journal. 

1 Among the eighteen rulers of India included in the scheme of Sir 
William Hunter only five are natives of India, and of these the great 
Madhoji Sindhia is, with the exception of Akbar, the most illustrious. 
Mr. H. G. Keene, a well-known and skilful writer on Indian questions, 
is fortunate in his subject, for the career of the greatest bearer of the 
historic name of Sindhia covered the exciting period from the capture of 
Delhi, the Imperial capital, by the Persian Nadir Shah, to the occupation 
of the same city by Lord Lake. . . . Mr. Keene gives a lucid description 
of his subsequent policy, especially towards the English when he was 
brought face to face with Warren Hastings.' — The Daily Graphic. 

©pinions of t&e press 



Third Edition. Fourth Thousand. 

'In " Clyde and Strathnairn," a contribution to Sir William Hunter's 
excellent " Rulers of India" series (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press), 
Sir Owen Burne gives a lucid sketch of the military history of the 
Indian Mutiny and its suppression by the two great soldiers who give 
their names to his book. The space is limited for so large a theme, but 
Sir Owen Burne skilfully adjusts his treatment to his limits, and rarely 
violates the conditions of proportion imposed upon him. . . . Sir Owen 
Burne does not confine himself exclusively to the military narrative. 
He gives a brief sketch of the rise and progress of the Mutiny, and 
devotes a chapter to the Reconstruction which followed its suppression. 
. . . — well written, well proportioned, and eminently worthy of the 
series to which it belongs.' — The Times, 

* Sir Owen Burne who, by association, experience, and relations with 
one of these generals, is well qualified for the task, writes with know- 
ledge, perspicuity, and fairness.' — Saturday Revieiv. 

1 As a brief record of a momentous epoch in India this little book is 
a remarkable piece of clear, concise, and interesting writing.' — The 
Colonies and India. 

'Sir Owen Burne has written this book carefully, brightly, and 
with excellent judgement, and we in India cannot read such a book 
without feeling that he has powerfully aided the accomplished editor 
of the series in a truly patriotic enterprise.' — Bombay Gazette. 

'The volume on "Clyde and Strathnairn" has just appeared, and 
proves to be a really valuable addition to the series. Considering its 
size and the extent of ground it covers it is one of the best books about 
the Indian Mutiny of which we know.' — Englishman. 

' Sir Owen Burne, who has written the latest volume for Sir William 
Hunter's " Rulers of India " series, is better qualified than any living 
person to narrate, from a military standpoint, the story of the suppres- 
sion of the Indian Mutiny/ — Daily Telegraph. 

' Sir Owen Burne's book on " Clyde and Strathnairn " is worthy to 
rank with the best in the admirable series to which it belongs.' — 
Manchester Examiner. 

'The book is admirably written; and there is probably no better 
sketch, equally brief, of the stirring events with which it deals.* 
— Scotsman. 

' Sir Owen Burne, from the part he played in the Indian Mutiny, and 
from his long connexion with the Government of India, and from the 
fact that he was military secretary of Lord Strathnairn both in India 
and in Ireland, is well qualified for the task which he has undertaken.' — 
The Athenaeum. 

©pinions of tfce press 



Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

1 An exception to the rule that biographies ought not to be entrusted 
to near relatives. Lord Hardinge, a scholar and an artist, has given 
us an accurate record of his father's long and distinguished services. 
There is no filial exaggeration. The author has dealt with some con- 
troversial matters with skill, and has managed to combine truth with 
tact and regard for the feelings of others.' — The Saturday Eevietv. 

'This interesting life reveals the first Lord Hardinge as a brave, 
just, able man, the very soul of honour, admired and trusted equally 
by friends and political opponents. The biographer . . . has produced a 
most engaging volume, which is enriched by many private and official 
documents that have not before seen the light.' — The Anti- Jacobin. 

* Lord Hardinge has accomplished a grateful, no doubt, but, from 
the abundance of material and delicacy of certain matters, a very 
difficult task in a workmanlike manner, marked by restraint and 
lucidity.'— The Pall Mall Gazette. 

* His son and biographer has done his work with a true appreciation 
of proportion, and has added substantially to our knowledge of the 
Sutlej Campaign.' — Vanity Fair. 

' The present Lord Hardinge is in some respects exceptionally well 
qualified to tell the tale of the eventful four years of his father's 
Governor-Generalship.' — The Times. 

'It contains a full account of everything of importance in Lord 
Hardinge's military and political career ; it is arranged ... so as to 
bring into special prominence his government of India ; and it gives 
a lifelike and striking picture of the man.' — Academy. 

' The style is clear, the treatment dispassionate, and the total result 
a manual which does credit to the interesting series in which it figures.' 
— The Globe. 

* The concise and vivid account which the son has given of his 
father's career will interest many readers.' — The Morning Post. 

' Eminently readable for everybody. The historyis given succinctly, 
and the unpublished letters quoted are of real value.' — The Colonies 
and India. 

' Compiled from public documents, family papers, and letters, this 
brief biography gives the reader a clear idea of what Hardinge was, 
both as a soldier and as an administrator.' — The Manchester Examiner, 

1 An admirable sketch.' — The New York Herald. 

' The Memoir is well and concisely written, and is accompanied by 
an excellent likeness after the portrait by Sir Francis Grant.' — The 

©pinions of tfje Press 




Third Edition. Fourth Thousand. 

1 Sir Henry Cunningham's rare literary skill and his knowledge 
of Indian life and affairs are not now displayed for the first time, 
and he has enjoyed exceptional advantages in dealing with his 
present subject. Lord Granville, Canning's contemporary at school 
and colleague in public life and one of his oldest friends, furnished his 
biographer with notes of his recollections of the early life of his friend. 
Sir Henry Cunningham has also been allowed access to the Diary of 
Canning's private secretary, to the Journal of his military secretary, 
and to an interesting correspondence between the Governor-General 
and his great lieutenant, Lord Lawrence.' — The Times. 

'Sir H. S. Cunningham has succeeded in writing the history of a 
critical period in so fair and dispassionate a manner as to make it 
almost a matter of astonishment that the motives which he has so 
clearly grasped should ever have been misinterpreted, and the results 
which he indicates so grossly misjudged. Nor is the excellence of his 
work less conspicuous from the literary than from the political and 
historical point of view.' — Glasgow Herald. 

1 Sir H. S. Cunningham has treated his subject adequately. In vivid 
language he paints his word-pictures, and with calm judicial analysis 
he also proves himself an able critic of the actualities, carnses, and results 
of the outbreak, also a temperate, just appreciator of the character and 
policy of Earl Canning.' — The Court Journal. 


Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

' Mr. Hutton has brought to his task an open mind, a trained 
historical judgement, and a diligent study of a great body of original 
material. Hence he is enabled to present a true, authentic, and 
original portrait of one of the greatest of Anglo-Indian statesmen, 
doing full justice to his military policy and achievements, and also to 
his statesmanlike efforts for the organization and consolidation of that 
Empire which he did so much to sustain.' — Times. 

'To the admirable candour and discrimination which characterize 
Mr. Hutton's monograph as an historical study must be added the 
literary qualities which distinguish it and make it one of the most 
readable volumes of the series. The style is vigorous and picturesque, 
and the arrangement of details artistic in its just regard for proportion 
and perspective. In short, there is no point of view from which the work 
deserves anything but praise.' — Glasgow Herald. 

1 The Rev. W. H. Hutton has done his work well, and achieves with 
force and lucidity the task he sets himself: to show how, under 
Wellesley, the Indian company developed and ultimately became the 
supreme power in India. To our thinking his estimate of this great 
statesman is most just.' — Black and White. 

1 Mr. Hutton has told the story of Lord Wellesley's life in an admir- 
able manner, and has provided a most readable book.' — Manchester 

* Mr. Hutton's range of information is wide, his division of subjects 
appropriate, and his diction scholarly and precise.' — Saturday Review. 

©pinions of tfje Press 



Third Edition. Fourth Thousand. 

• We can thoroughly praise Sir Lepel Griffin's work as an accurate 
and appreciative account of the beginnings and growth of the Sikh 
religion and of the temporal power founded upon it by a strong and 
remorseless chieftain.' — The Times. 

1 Sir Lepel Griffin treats his topic with thorough mastery, and his 
account of the famous Maharaja* and his times is, consequently, one of 
the most valuable as well as interesting volumes of the series of which 
it t forms a part.' — The Globe. 

' From first to last it is a model of what such a work should be, and 
a classic.'' — The St. Stephen's Review. 

' The monograph could not have been entrusted to more capable 
hands than those of Sir Lepel Griffin, who spent his official life in the 
Punjaub.' — The Scotsman. 

1 At once the shortest and best history of the rise and fall of the 
Sikh monarchy.' — The North British Daily Mail. 

' Not only a biography of the Napoleon of the East, but a luminous 
picture of his country ; the chapter on Sikh Theocracy being a notable 
example of compact thought.' — The Liter pool Mercury. 


Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

'The " Rulers of India" series has received a valuable addition in 
the biography of the late Lord William Bentinck. The subject of this 
interesting memoir was a soldier as well as a statesman. He was 
mainly instrumental in bringing about the adoption of the overland 
route and in convincing the people of India that a main factor in Eng- 
lish policy was a disinterested desire for their welfare. Lord William's 
despatches and minutes, several of which are textually reproduced in 
Mr. Boulger's praiseworthy little book, display considerable literary 
skill and are one and all State papers of signal worth.' — Daily Tele- 

1 Mr. Boulger is no novice in dealing with Oriental history and 
Oriental affairs, and in the career of Lord William Bentinck he has 
found a theme very much to his taste, which he treats with adequate 
knowledge and literary skill.' — The Times. 

* Mr. Boulger writes clearly and well, and his volume finds an ac- 
cepted place in the very useful and informing series which Sir William 
Wilson Hunter is editing so ably.' — Independent. 

©pimon0 of tfce ipress 



Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

1 Sir William Hunter, the editor of the series to which this book 
belongs, was happily inspired when he entrusted the Life of Elphin- 
stone, one of the most scholarly of Indian rulers, to Mr. Cotton, who, 
himself a scholar of merit and repute, is brought by the nature of his 
daily avocations into close and constant relations with scholars. . . . We 
live in an age in which none but specialists can afford to give more time 
to the memoirs of even the most distinguished Anglo-Indians than will 
be occupied by reading Mr. Cotton's two hundred pages. He has per- 
formed his task with great skill and good sense. This is just the kind 
of Life of himself which the wise, kindly, high-souled man, who is the 
subject of it, would read with pleasure in the Elysian Fields.' — Sir M. 
E. Grant Duff, in The Academy. 

c To so inspiring a theme few writers are better qualified to do ample 
justice than the author of "The Decennial Statement of the Moral and 
Material Progress and Condition of India." Sir T. Colebrooke's larger 
biography of Elphinstone appeals mainly to Indian specialists, but 
Mr. Cotton's slighter sketch is admirably adapted to satisfy the growing 
demand for a knowledge of Indian history and of the personalities of 
Anglo-Indian statesmen which Sir William Hunter has done so much 
to create. 1 — The Times. 


' A most valuable, compact and interesting memoir for those looking 
forward to or engaged in the work of Indian administration.' — Scotsman. 

e It is a careful and sympathetic survey of a life which should always 
serve as an example to the Indian soldier and civilian.' — Yorkshire Post. 

'A true and vivid record of Munro's life-work in almost auto- 
biographical form.' — Glasgow Herald. 

1 Of the work before us we have nothing but praise. The story of 
Munro's career in India is in itself of exceptional interest and im- 
portance/ — Freeman's Journal. 

i The work could not have been better done ; it is a monument of 
painstaking care, exhaustive research, and nice discrimination.' — People. 

'This excellent and spirited little monograph catches the salient 
points of Munro's career, and supplies some most valuable quotations 
from his writings and papers.' — Manchester Guardian. 

1 It would be impossible to imagine a more attractive and at the 
same time instructive book about India.' — Liverpool Courier. 

i It is one of the best volumes of this excellent series.' — Imperial and 
Asiatic Quarterly Review. 

1 The book throughout is arranged in an admirably clear manner and 
there is evident on every page a desire for truth, and nothing but the 
truth.' — Commerce. 

' A clear and scholarly piece of work.' — Indian Journal of Education. 

©pinions of t&e press 



Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

' Mr. Stephens' able and instructive monograph . . . We may commend 
Mr. Morse Stephens' volume, both as an adequate summary of an 
important period in the history of the relations between Asia and 
Europe, and as a suggestive treatment of the problem of why Portugal 
failed and England succeeded in founding an Indian Empire.' — The 

1 Mr. H. Morse Stephens has made a very readable book out of the 
foundation of the Portuguese power in India. According to the 
practice of the series to which it belongs it is called a life of AfFonso de 
Albuquerque, but the Governor is only the central and most important 
figure in a brief history of the Portuguese in the East down to the time 
when the Dutch and English intruded on their preserves ... A plea- 
santly-written and trustworthy book on an interesting man and time.' 
— The Saturday Review. 

* Mr. Morse Stephens' Albuquerque is a solid piece of work, well put 
together, and full of interest.' — The Athenceum. 

1 Mr. Morse Stephens' studies in Indian and Portuguese history have 
thoroughly well qualified him for approaching the subject . . . He has 
presented the facts of Albuquerque's career, and sketched the events 
marking the rule of his predecessor Almeida, and of his immediate 
successors in the Governorship and Viceroy alty of India in a compact, 
lucid, and deeply interesting form.' — The Scotsman. 


Third Edition. Fourth Thousand. 
' No man knows the policy, principles, and character of John 
Lawrence better than Sir Charles Aitchison. The salient features 
and vital principles of his work as a ruler, first in the Punjab, and 
afterwards as Viceroy, are set forth with remarkable clearness.' — 

1 A most admirable sketch of the great work done by Sir John 
Lawrence, who not only ruled India, but saved it.' — Manchester 

* Sir Charles Aitchison's narrative is uniformly marked by directness, 
order, clearness, and grasp ; it throws additional light into certain 
nooks of Indian affairs ; and it leaves upon the mind a very vivid 
and complete impression of Lord Lawrence's vigorous, resourceful, 
discerning, and valiant personality.' — Newcastle Daily Chronicle. 

* Sir Charles knows the Punjab thoroughly, and has made this little 
book all the more interesting by his account of the Punjab under John 
Lawrence and his subordinates.' — Yorkshire Post 

©pinions of tfre IPtess 



Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

' Mr. Bowring's portraits are just, and his narrative of the continuous 
military operations of the period full and accurate.' — Times. 

1 The story has been often written, but never better or more con- 
cisely than here, where the father and son are depicted vividly and 
truthfully " in their habit as they lived." There is not a volume of 
the whole series which is better done than this, or one which shows 
greater insight/ — Daily Chronicle. 

1 Mr. Bowring has been well chosen to write this memorable history, 
because he has had the best means of collecting it, having himself 
formerly been Chief Commissioner of Mysore. The account of the 
Mysore war is well done, and Mr. Bowring draws a stirring picture of 
our determined adversary/ — Army and Navy Gazette. 

'An excellent example of compression and precision. Many volumes 
might be written about the long war in Mysore, and we cannot but 
admire the skill with which Mr. Bowring has condensed the history of 
the struggle. His book is as terse and concise as a book can be/ — 
North British Daily Mail. 

* Mr. Bowring's book is one of the freshest and best of a series most 
valuable to all interested in the concerns of the British Empire in the 
East/ — 'English Mail. 

* The story of the final capture of Seringapatam is told with skill 
and graphic power by Mr. Bowring, who throughout the whole work 
shows himself a most accurate and interesting historian/ — Perthshire 


Second Edition. Third Thousand. 

' This book gives a spirited and accurate sketch of a very extra- 
ordinary personality/ — Speaker. 

c Colonel Malleson writes a most interesting account of Clive's great 
work in India — so interesting that, having begun to read it, one is 
unwilling to lay it aside until the last page has been reached. The 
character of Clive as a leader of men, and especially as a cool, intrepid, 
and resourceful general, is ably described ; and at the same time the 
author never fails to indicate the far-reaching political schemes which 
inspired the valour of Clive and laid the foundation of our Indian 
Empire/ — North British Daily Mail. 

c This monograph is admirably written by one thoroughly acquainted 
and in love with his subject/ — Glasgow Herald. 

' No one is better suited than Colonel Malleson to write on Clive, 
and he has performed his task with distinct success. The whole narra- 
tive is, like everything Colonel Malleson writes, clear and full of 
vigour/ — Yorkshire Post. 

i Colonel Malleson is reliable and fair, and the especial merit of his 
book is that it always presents a clear view of the whole of the vast 
theatre in which Clive gradually produces such an extraordinary change 
of scene/ — Newcastle Daily Chronicle. 

©pinions of t&e press 


*A vivid account of the causes, conduct, and consequences of "the 
costly, fruitless, and unrighteous " Afghan War of 1838/ — St. James's 

'To write such a monograph was a thankless task, but it has been 
accomplished with entire success by Captain L. J. Trotter. He has 
dealt calmly and clearly with Lord Auckland's policy, domestic and 
military, with its financial results, and with the general tendency of 
Lord Auckland's rule.' — Yorkshire Post. 

1 To this distressing story (of the First Afghan War) Captain Trotter 
devotes the major portion of his pages. He tells it well and forcibly ; 
but is drawn, perhaps unavoidably, into the discussion of many topics 
of controversy which, to some readers, may seem to be hardly as yet 
finally decided. ... It is only fair to add that two chapters are devoted 
to " Lord Auckland's Domestic Policy," and to his relations with 
" The Native States of India." '—The Times. 

' Captain Trotter's Earl of Auckland is a most interesting book, and 
its excellence as a condensed, yet luminous, history of the first Afghan 
War deserves warm recognition.' — Scotsman. 

' It points a moral which our Indian Rulers cannot afford to forget 
so long as they still have Russia and Afghanistan to count with.' — 
Glasgozv Herald. 

Supplementary Volume : price 3s. 6d. 


' Sir R. Temple's book possesses a high value as a dutiful and 
interesting memorial of a man of lofty ideals, whose exploits were 
none the less memorable because achieved exclusively in the field 
of peaceful administration.' — Times. 

1 It is the peculiar distinction of this work that it interests a reader 
less in the official than in the man himself.' — Scotsman. 

1 This is a most interesting book : to those who know India, and 
knew the man, it is of unparalleled interest, but no one who has 
the Imperial instinct which has taught the English to rule subject 
races "for their own welfare" can fail to be struck by the simple 
greatness of this character.'— Pall Mall Gazette. 

1 Mr. Thomason was a great Indian statesman. He systematized 
the revenue system of the North-West Provinces, and improved every 
branch of the administration. He was remarkable, like many great 
Indians, for the earnestness of his religious faith, and Sir Richard 
Temple brings this out in an admirable manner.' — British Weekly. 

'The book is "a portrait drawn by the hand of affection," of one 
whose life was "a pattern of how a Christian man ought to live." 
Special prominence is given to the religious aspects of Mr. Thomason's 
character, and the result is a very readable biographical sketch.' — 

©pinions of tbe jpress 



1 The concluding volume of Sir William Hunter's admirable "Rulers 
of India" series is devoted to a biography of John Russell Colvin. 
Mr. Colvin, as private secretary to Lord Auckland, the Governor- 
General during the first Afghan War, and as Lieutenant-Governor of 
the North- West Provinces during the Mutiny, bore a prominent part 
in the government of British India at two great crises of its history. 
His biographer is his son, Sir Auckland Colvin, who does full justice to 
his father's career and defends him stoutly against certain allegations 
which have passed into history. ... It is a valuable and effective 
contribution to an admirable series. In style and treatment of its 
subject it is well worthy of its companions.' — Times. 

1 The story of John Colvin's career indicates the lines on which the 
true history of the first Afghan W T ar and of the Indian Mutiny should 
be written. . . . Not only has the author been enabled to make use 
of new and valuable material, but he has also constructed therefrom 
new and noteworthy explanations of the position of affairs at two turning- 
points in Indian history.' — Academy. 

1 High as is the standard of excellence attained by the volumes of 
this series, Sir Auckland Colvin's earnest work has reached the high- 
water mark.' — Army and Navy Gazette. 

Sir Auckland Colvin gives us an admirable study of his subject, both 
as a man of affairs and as a student in private life. In doing this, his 
picturesque theme allows him, without outstepping the biographical 
limits assigned, to present graphic pictures of old Calcutta and Indian 
life in general.' — Manchester Courier. 

1 This little volume contains pictures of India, past and present, which 
it would be hard to match for artistic touch and fine feeling. We wish 
there were more of the same kind to follow.' — St. James's Gazette. 


1 An admirable account of the work done by one of the greatest and 
most noble of the men who have adorned our Indian Empire. . . . No 
man is better qualified to write about the defence of the Residency than 
General Innes.' — Athenaeum. 

' We can cordially recommend this account of the modern Christian 
hero.' — Academy. 

c A sympathetic sketch. General Innes tells his story with soldierly 
brevity and a sturdy belief in his hero.' — Times. 

'The lessons taught by Sir Henry Lawrence's work in India are, 
perhaps, at this moment as deserving of serious reflection as at any time 
since his death. We welcome this excellent little biography of the 
great soldier-civilian by a distinguished officer of exceptional knowledge 
and experience.' — Daily Neios. 

1 This book is a very good memoir, as nearly as possible what a book 
of the kind should be/ — Scotsman. 

DS Malleson, George Bruce 

4-62 Dupledx, and the struggle 

.8 for India